There was a point last year when I was feeling very sorry for myself. There had been several factors leading up to this particular pity party, but tipping the scale into near meltdown was when our car—the one I drove, the one I depended on to get me to and fro—decided to no longer work. Friday, she was running fine, not a problem in sight. I was thanking God for this little car that could — and I meant it.
Literally the next day, I went out to move it, and nothing. This car had been around since the mid-80s, so it was bound to happen sooner rather than later, but I honestly had gotten to the point where I was thankful for this car. She was a bit temperamental, but I had learned to put up with her ways. If I dared turn on the air conditioner, I had to remember to turn it off at every stop sign or red light. Rainy days were always fun as I had to turn the headlights and windshield wipers off at each stop or run the risk of draining the battery.
Then, out of the blue, she broke down — for good. I was not happy and let my husband know that I was not happy with him, with God, oh and by they way, I can’t trust you, I can’t trust God, what’s the point of believing you or anybody or anything, anymore?
Ummmm … all this over a car?
I went to my room and had my fit and it was a grand one. I told God how disappointed I was with Him. I let Him know I felt like He treated my thanks and praise of Him like it was trash. Like I’m the child that is not wanted. I really do believe in Jesus, yet everything in life seems to be crashing and burning around me, and quite frankly it has been going on for quite some time. I mean, what is up with all this [doo doo] that keeps happening — and why for so long? Where’s the victory? Where are the blessings? Where are all the promises? I keep hearing how You love me and want good things for me, but it’s not happening and I’m TIRED. I am really tired.
I guess I had bottled up a few things for awhile.
It seemed like it took forever, but I finally calmed down. I left our bedroom and apologized to my husband for the way I had spoken to him. Our girls were around, but they were doing something across the room and I was talking quietly and didn’t think they could hear me. “It’s just that our [home] AC died, the car died,” in frustration with sadness, I quietly added, “My mom is dying…”
Suddenly, our five-year-old ran across the room and stood in front of me barely holding back tears, “Your mom is dying?” And the floodgates opened as she burst into tears and cried and cried and cried. “I don’t want Grandmommy to die. I’ll miss her.” Oh God, what did I just do? I didn’t know she could hear me. I was planning to sit and talk with them at some point about what is happening with my mom, but this certainly wasn’t how I wanted them to find out. And the tears flowed …
Just prior to my loose lips sinking ships, we had decided we were all going to go to the grocery store. After letting her cry for some time, I quietly told her it was time to go and she sadly got up to leave. Just as we were walking out the door, the unmistakable music of the ice cream truck was heard on our street. In the seven years we’ve lived here, I don’t remember the ice cream man coming up our street. Then there was our girl, dancing down the driveway, waving and singing, “It’s the ice cream man! Stop here ice cream man. Stop here!” In an instant, her sadness was dispelled by the presence of the ice cream man. In an instant, all was made right in her little world. I could really use a supernatural ice cream man.
I thank Jesus for that moment — not only for bringing joy into the middle of my little girl’s sadness, but for giving me a very small picture of what might be in store for us one day. While I certainly don’t want to reduce Jesus to ice cream man status, I saw a little picture there. I know one day, we’ll hear that unmistakable trumpet blast — though I’m fairly certain it won’t be the tune of “The Entertainer” but we will recognize the sound. Our hearts will miss a beat as we suddenly realize Who is on His way. All things will stop for a moment, then maybe we’ll start running in circles, waving our arms, dancing and screaming excitedly, “It’s Jesus! Jesus is here!” as He gathers us into His presence. I cannot imagine the joy those of us who love Him will feel at that moment. In an instant, all things bad will be forever gone.