She played quietly in the front yard, enjoying the feeling of cool evening grass between her stubby toddler toes. A stick was enough to keep her entertained today, enough for her to get lost in the moment. But then she heard a familiar noise, a low rumble of urgency, attempting to draw her attention away from the stick. She looked up and felt an overwhelming sense of panic. Mom and Dad were in the car, backing down the drive. Where are they going? Are they leaving me? Don’t they love me? She stumbled upward, stick still in hand, and did her best attempt at a sprint toward the car, which appeared more like a barely controlled fall, each step fighting off a wobbling face plant. She started to cry. Her feet were too heavy, getting caught in the grass. She wouldn’t make it in time!
Her mom looked up to see what was happening. She saw the stick in her daughter’s hand, saw her daughter’s tumbling march and feared the worst. She yelled one simple word: “WAIT!!!!”
As the words launched out of her mouth, the little girl lurched forward, stick pointed upward, as her face came down upon it. The girl looked at her mom, stunned by the blow, wondering why she could only see from one eye. All her mom could see was the red blood gushing down her face, down on her white dress. Mom and Dad had been merely looking over the features of their new-used car. They hadn’t planned to travel farther than the end of the driveway, until now.
Isaiah 30:18 says, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Sometimes we are overwhelmed by our interpretation of a situation and are compelled to take action, even going against what we know to be best (like, running with a stick in hand). Of course, there are times to take immediate action, yet sometimes we get ahead of God and suffer for it.
The mother rushed over to her daughter, fearful of what she would find where a right eye should be. There was so much blood, but as she wiped it away, there was a beautiful blue eye staring back at her. The stick had struck just above the eyebrow. A set of stitches and she would be ok. Little did the mother know it would be the first of many sets of stitches over the course of her daughter’s time in her home, but those would have to wait.
Have you ever rushed into a situation without having all the information, misunderstanding what was really happening? How did it turn out?
God, give us wisdom to know when to wait for you. Help us to keep from rushing out ahead of your direction in our lives, even in moments that seem like emergencies on the surface. Help us to practice patience and to listen carefully for the guiding wisdom of your Holy Spirit.