I just about lost it in the pharmacy drive through the other day.
I mean, not really, but it was one of those mom moments where you just feel so frazzled because you’re not able to solve the problem at hand. Olivia was in the back seat in her car seat screaming. Just straight up screaming crying to the point that she was gasping in large gulps of air and big crocodile tears were rolling and her little voice was getting a little raspy and hoarse from the sheer volume and gusto of her screams. I’m certain she was hungry, or fighting going to sleep, or probably had a mean gas bubble getting her and she needed to let me know about it, even though there was basically nothing I could do about it at that exact moment.
You know what definitely doesn’t work with a three month old? Rational reasoning. As in me saying to her, “Olivia, I realize you are hungry, tired, gassy, just straight up angry, or some other thing that would require me to take you out of your car seat to reconcile the situation, but here in the pharmacy drive-through line, it just can’t happen yet. Please calm down, and we will rectify whatever your situation is shortly when the time, place, and circumstances are right. Just hang on a minute.”
Nothing I could merely say to her was enough to convince her to stop crying, even though I tried. She does not understand that there is a right time, and a right place, and a right circumstance for everything, and we just weren’t there. Her tunnel vision for the one thing she wanted clouded out everything else, and she wasn’t going to stop crying until I fixed it. Period.
As I sat there, waiting for our prescriptions and wanting to get through the line as quickly as possible, I suddenly thought, this must be how God feels with us sometimes.
We hone in with tunnel vision on something we want and pray for it. And pray and pray, and our tunnel vision clouds out rationality, patience, and understanding of the concept of the right time, right place, and right circumstances.
I’ll admit, I felt exactly this way about a year ago. I had a plan, and that plan fell through. And then the next fell through. And the next. I was praying so hard for what I thought I wanted, and it felt like He was ignoring me. And finally I had to stop and realize that God had the best plan for me– and to everything I had been asking for and planning, He was saying “Just hang on a minute” while He worked out something better. And His plan was obviously way better than mine.
God has the perfect plans for us– even when we’re screaming in the back seat obnoxiously for what we want without any regard to what is going on around us. He knows the perfect time, place, and circumstances for us at all times and orchestrates all this for our good, and, more importantly, for His good, all without even coming close to losing it with us.
Not that long after I had this realization, we successfully got our prescriptions, and made it home. Within 30 minutes of that meltdown, Olivia had eaten and been snuggled, and was smiling, laughing and making gurgle noises at me, which always just completely erases any trace of frustration I ever have with her. I don’t think I’m ever able to be frustrated with her for long at all. Those eyes and that quick sassy smile with a nose scrunch just completely melt me. One day, I’ll be able to explain these things to her when she’s upset and we’ll (hopefully) avoid situations like that because it won’t be just tunnel vision for what she wants with abandon- she’ll understand more context into the situation at hand. And one day, hopefully, I’ll understand that when God doesn’t answer prayers with what I’m expecting when I expect it, it’s because He’s working out His plans, and that it’ll be a lot easier for everyone if I acknowledge the “hang on a minute” and just let Him do His thing.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT
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