Some lessons take so long to learn.
I should know.
As a parent, I often feel as if I’ve said things hundreds of times, and I’m still getting the same results.
Apparently, as a child of God, I’m just as disobedient. Or perhaps hard-headed.
All this coming because of simple events.
I had just dropped the boys off at school. They had missed the bus.
After the drop off, I got some coffee. I headed home for a shower because I had errands to run before meeting a friend.
At home I was greeted by the beep of the answering machine. Willik had left me a message, sheepishly telling me that he’d forgotten his lunchbox in the car. Going back to school was definitely not in the plans. I was not happy.
That lasted only for a second, as I heard the Holy Spirit say — “but you GET TO take the lunch box to Willik. Annette doesn’t get to do anything for Ellen.”
Annette is an “oak of righteousness”. When Isaiah mentions these “oaks” in Isaiah 61:3, Dan and Annette are who Isaiah was talking about.
A week ago tuesday, they lost their daughter after a series of tragic events. Although they’ve been in deep grief, they’ve been able to stand firm and show thousands of people that they serve a mighty God who sustains them in the worst case scenario.
I was flooded by guilt and thankfulness as I stepped out of the house and drove back to the elementary school.
The next 20 minutes consisted of much crying as I drove.
CRYING… in thankfulness
CRYING… with guilt
CRYING… for forgiveness
… for grieving friends
… in gratitude
… in petition
… in praise
It was possibly one of the most profound and poignant lessons I’ve had with God in a long while. I know that I will not soon forget it.
The sorrow is still plaguing me, to the point of feeling ill at times. I cannot imagine the grief that these friends are feeling.
Perhaps the scariest thought that the Spirit brought to mind, is that here I was learning a very important lesson about gratitude, but it meant that someone else was in terrible pain.
Why was I not in pain? Why did my lesson have to come at someone else’s expense?
It seems an awful terrible price, and I certainly don’t pretend to understand the ways in which God works, but I know that He is amazing. He made me and he knows me better than anyone ever could. I owe Him my life, and I owe Him my praise.
I hope that I will always be able to shine His light and love brightly and that I, too, can one day be called an “Oak of righteousness” by God.
Right now, I think I’m only a Pine…