You know that old saying, “The Lord works in mysterious ways?” Sometimes, he even uses dirty plastic playhouses…because He can.
It was a typical Thursday evening. We had just returned home from the gym, and I was making dinner. Tacos, obviously, since I had just worked out for an hour. 😉 I was feeling pretty rotten and down because the kids had been fighting all week, the weather was icky for May, and our family has been stuck in a season of disappointment and heartache for the last two months.
Over the last eight weeks, we have declined our first referral from China due to some inaccurate information in the file, we put our beloved Boston Terrier to sleep due to a neurological issue, and we have adopted…and returned…another puppy to her rescue group due to safety concerns with our yard and her ability to create an escape route. Disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. It was one of those days where I had just been praying for something, ANYTHING, to go right.
My daughter is two and a half. (Moment of silence, please.) She is at that age where the slightest little thing sets her off, so as I had neared the end of cooking, I went to poke my head outside where my sweet hubby was playing with the kids to ask if she wanted a crunchy shell or a tortilla for her taco, and I ended up standing there staring for a solid ten minutes completely unnoticed.
As I looked outside, I found my husband, all 6 feet and 200+ pounds of him, scrunched into our tiny Little Tykes plastic playhouse with both kids. He was asking about their day, tickling them, giggling with them, just enjoying their company. And they were EATING IT UP.
I stood in the doorway for several minutes, just savoring the sight of those three laughing and happy. And it dawned on me. I immediately felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, “When was the last time YOU enjoyed their company? When was the last time YOU were thankful for the people you still have? Don’t you see what all I’ve already given you!”
There’s a line in a song by Casting Crowns I’m loving right now that says, “If your eyes are on the storm, you’ll wonder if I love you still. But if your eyes are on the cross, you know I always have and I always will.” At that moment, that line made sense. I realized I had been approaching this hard season in completely the wrong way.
Because of a plastic playhouse.
Rather than approaching this season with my eyes on the cross and the blessings and the good, my eyes have been on the storm and the waiting and the hard. My eyes have been so focused on the heartache and the disappointment and the jealousy of what we DON’T HAVE right now, that I’ve completely missed out on enjoying what we DO HAVE.
And because God works in that mysterious way, it took a plastic playhouse to remind me of all He’s already done for me.
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” -Psalm 145:3-4