She locked herself in the bathroom for over an hour.
That was, quite honestly, the most productive hour of my day. She was angry but contained. I got laundry folded and floors swept and things tidied. I got my room organized and my bed made.
And I got time to pray.
But the beautiful thing about prayer is how He meets us right where we are. And when our purpose is to truly seek the will of God, He will reveal to us what we can’t see otherwise. Today He showed me ME.
Because I was stewing about her. I was frustrated and exhausted and overwhelmed. I’d demonstrated more patience with her than I knew was possible and yet I’d still given a slight vent to my irritation.
And it was enough to earn myself the loving chastisement of God.
As I was whining about pouring myself out for someone who scorns me when she doesn’t get her way, He tenderly reminded me that she is me.
It’s like a mirror was held up and I saw the ugliness of my own character. I saw the selfish, self-serving, self-preservation that was the driving force behind my complaint.
Because I didn’t like my assignment today.
I didn’t want to do hard things like loving a child not yet capable of receiving love. I didn’t want to instruct an 8 year on things I’d taught the other children before they could walk. I didn’t want the inconvenience of not accomplishing what I’d planned for the day because she was consuming all my time, energy and patience.
So I turned on God.
Oh, I didn’t say terrible things to or about Him but I murmured against what He’d asked me to do. And then I remembered Moses missing the Promised Land because he’d gotten fed up with the spoiled, unrepentant, ungrateful people who couldn’t remember the mercy shown them in the past because of the trial before them in the present.
Blind. Forgetful. Rebellious.
The Israelites, yes. But also me. And maybe even you.
A hard day is made harder by a crummy attitude. I’m pretty sure Moses didn’t love giving his life up to lead a stiff-necked group of unconverted whiners through the wilderness, but it was what was asked so it was what was required. And when he whacked that rock rather than speaking to it, God didn’t let it go unnoticed.
And He didn’t let my belly-aching go unnoticed, either. I confessed and I repented. I apologized to my little girl through the crack under the bathroom door. I explained that I’m learning, too, and that God loves us even we struggle to show love to each other well.
I was met with silence.
But then the lock clicked and the knob turned and a little brown face peeped through the door with questioning eyes. We said little just then. Maybe even nothing; I don’t remember. But awhile later she bounded into the kitchen where I was working and confirmed she'd been listening:
“Phracêā rạk Mommy læa Phracêā rạk Sky.” God loves Mommy and God loves Sky.
And for today, it was enough.