A trip not soon forgotten!

Published 3:23 pm Friday, June 21, 2019

When Jessica called my wife and asked if we could keep her two youngest girls after church last Wednesday, it sounded like a good idea to me.  We have had so much going on lately that it has been a challenge to go grocery shopping, so we made plans to go after church Wednesday—and now we faced the challenge of taking two girls with us.  But I thought it would be a lot of fun to put Raegan in the buggy and let her enjoy the ride while Nana and Papa replenished needed supplies.  What I did not know is that our precious toddler of almost two years of age transforms into a little monster as soon as you drive into the parking lot of Piggly Wiggly!  To add to the strain of it all, I had worked hard in the heat, sweating and swatting gnats, before conducting a Bible study and my wife had been busy taking care of the house before leading the midweek children’s program.  With us both being near exhaustion, our patience was not in good condition for what the rest of the evening involved.

The wrestling match started as we made our way to the entry into the store; I quickly realized that I had underestimated what I had volunteered us to do!  She rebelled against sitting in the buggy, so Gale tried letting her help push the buggy; that worked really well—for about forty-five seconds.  When she was forced to sit in the buggy anyway she tried to throw the cans out that we had placed in there, and along with all that she decided a screaming fit would accomplish something.  That did not bring her the victory she hoped for and the struggle continued.

At one point as she was walking with me, she broke free from my grasp and took off running.  It is amazing how fast those little legs can accelerate and I feared that I would have to run her down before she escaped the building.  Thankfully, when she realized she almost ran into a total stranger she made a boomerang turn back to me.

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Finally the adventure came to a conclusion, much to my delight.  Never mind that we spent considerably more money than I had hoped to; the thing that was on my mind was getting out of there and putting some distance between me and that child!

We made it home in one piece and her energy level seemed to still be of a vast supply as she ran and laughed.  She did sit still long enough to enjoy a popsicle, which gave us a short respite before those little feet were in high gear again.

Regardless of the inconvenience and annoyance that we had to endure, one thing remained for certain:  we never stopped loving her.  And even though she was deeply tearful when her nana scolded her with firm words and a little swat on the hand, she never doubted our concern for her well being.

If we could see through the eyes of God for a bit and view our rebellious and cantankerous ways, it would probably look a lot different from His vantage point than from ours.  Like a young child breaking all the rules of good behavior out in public, we are sometimes guilty of being much less like Christ than we ought to be.  Nevertheless, God loves us just the same.  He does not approve of or overlook our wrongful ways and He sometimes corrects us in ways that bring discomfort, yet His love remains absolute.  The psalmist gives us these words of assurance:  “But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15, New International Version).