My 4-year-old son stomped into the kitchen and announced, “Mommy, I was playing, and a hole ripped in my frog blanket. Would you please sew it up now?”
“Sweetie, I’ll be happy to mend it for you, but I won’t be able to get to it until later tonight when you’re in bed. You’ll be able to have it again when you wake up tomorrow.”
“Please, Mommy, won’t you do it for me now?” he begged.
I firmly responded, “No, Bryson, I promise you I will take care of it, but now is not the time.” It was difficult for Bryson to part with his precious blanket overnight, but he reluctantly turned it over into my custody.
Reflecting back on the situation, I really wonder how many times I’ve approached God and announced that I needed him to immediately “sew up” a predicament of mine. He didn’t create my crisis; I did a grand job of that on my own when I was “playing” around with my life.
God heals our troubled lives in his time, not ours. Sometimes that seems to require that we wait an agonizingly long while, and I daresay it’s not much easier for us adults than it is for my son.
Bryson’s chief concerns are certainly not identical to mine. While his top priorities (toys and sippy cups, for example) are crucial in his little cosmos, mine are more complicated (like gas and grocery prices). Our immediate dilemmas seem so colossal to us in our own miniature worlds, but God is looking at the overall picture, knowing what is best for us. The Lord declares, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).
Well, I’m no master seamstress, and the hole in the poor frog’s green face looked like it had been stitched up by Dr. Frankenstein. When Bryson bounded out to get his blanket the next morning, I said, “Your blanket doesn’t look quite the same now, it has a scar.”
We’re given one physical life to live, and being imperfect humans, we mess things up occasionally. And when we make holes in our blanket of life, he’s not necessarily going to restore it back to the way it was originally. God will certainly help us when we seek him, but the outcome may not look quite the way we were thinking it should. Just as sewing stitches over holes may resemble scars, our healed lives may also retain scars from the restoration process.
Our scars serve as reminders that God has intervened in our lives and that we cannot “do it all” by ourselves. They are proof of his healing power.
Bryson cheerfully responded, “That’s okay. I love my frog blanket.” He was so happy that I had mended it that he gave me a big hug and exclaimed, “Thank you so much, Mommy, for fixing my frog blanket!”
Few things are more rewarding than having your child spontaneously give you a heartfelt expression of gratitude. God must enjoy our thanksgiving even more. King David wrote, “O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me…. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:2, 12b).
Do I always remember to gratefully accept what God gives me in my life and be thankful for it, even when it’s not as pretty as I would like it to be? The Almighty gave me the gift of scars — in other words, he helped me by working out things in my life after I had originally messed them up.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Mother knows best.” Well, that’s not quite accurate. Only God knows best, and we can be content in knowing that he’s the One who is ultimately in control of our lives, scars and all.
Shiela Miller lives in Greenville, S.C. with her husband and two children. She works part-time as a massage therapist and is a worship leader and Sunday School teacher at Way of the Cross Fellowship.