It’s never a good time to be inconvenienced, but often it’s worth it. I can’t tell you how many nights I’d be exhausted and looking forward to getting the kids in bed so I could slump down on the couch and veg. I’d be the drill sergeant hurrying them to brush their teeth, put pajamas on, and say their prayers. I’d turn off the light, kiss them on the cheek, tiptoe to the door, and then I’d hear, “Mama?”
I often considered pretending not to hear so I could walk out and join my husband, who’d somehow escaped to our couch oasis, but my convictions always stopped me. I’d pause and say, “Yes?” and that’s when my son would ask one of those stop-the-tape questions: “Does God answer all of our prayers?” “Why do some kids think we shouldn’t step on ants because then we’ll become one in their next life?” Or “Why doesn’t everyone go to heaven?”
Unprepared as I was with my brain mush and my body ready to collapse, an opportunity beckoned. Even though everything in me begged for the couch, I sat down on his bed and was able to have some fantastic conversations. For instance, my oldest asked if he could pray for anything and then proceeded to ask God to make him taller than his younger brother (which led to a talk about God’s answer isn’t always yes). Sometimes my boys gave me revelations I hadn’t considered, like my youngest telling me he couldn’t wait to go to heaven so he could breathe underwater. When I questioned why he thought that, he told me, “Well, there’s no death in heaven, so that means we can breathe underwater.” I told him we’d find out when we got there.
Often, we have to pass on comfort to embrace an opportunity.
Over the last few months, life has gotten significantly harder. We can’t go to certain places without a mask. We can’t interact like we used to. We can’t even walk in specific directions. We might be exhausted and fed up and hoping to get back to the comfy couch of our pre-pandemic lives, but this is when we need to have our ears open for “Mama?” Right now, our neighbors, friends, and family members are having questions. The world has become an uncertain place, but we can be their blessed assurance. We can be peace during the pandemonium. We can be hope in desperation.
God is doing a new thing, but we must be listening to perceive it. Even if inconvenienced, our hearts must be ready and willing for new possibilities.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19
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