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Picking up the blocks

posted Aug 19, 2013, 7:35 AM by Christine Merrill   [ updated Aug 19, 2013, 7:35 AM ]
Back when Lige and Ellis shared a room, they had some problems cleaning up their room together.  (I hear the collective sigh of every mother of siblings in the world.)  One day, Lige (who is very dutiful by nature) cleaned up a huge bucket of blocks all by himself.  I was impressed.  But then, Ellis, who was still getting a grasp on this "picking up" business, walked over, saw some blocks, and dumped them out with great glee.  Ha ha!  Lige, believe it or not, was not too happy about this.  He looked at me as if to say, "Mom, this is a horrible life.  All I do is pick up Ellis's messes!  It's not fair!  Augh!"  I, of course, had absolutely no intention of making Lige pick up the blocks a second time.  He'd done his job, and it took me about 1 minute to help Ellis scoop the blocks back up and put them on a (higher) shelf.

Have you ever seen this in your life?  Someone does something that ruins all your hard work toward a good cause, and you think that things are ruined...then you see things quietly come back together, and you know that God has picked up the pieces for you.  Sometimes, God lets us practice kindness and forgiveness by picking up the pieces ourselves.  But sometimes, He'll say, "It's not your fault" and help fix the problem.  He's nice like that.

The other thing I thought about from this experience is:  why didn't I stop Ellis from knocking the blocks over?  I had to think about it for a bit, but I realized it was because I was trying to teach Ellis about cleaning up at that point, and she's never going to learn if I control every arm movement.  (I mean, with Lillian, I had some days when I actually did that, but she's an exceptionally stubborn case...)  So, to let her learn, I let her make mistakes.  She was really not old enough to deal with the fall-out from her mistake by herself, so I helped her fix it.  But I was a smart enough parent to know that you have to let your kids do things that aren't really great sometimes.  So how does this apply to me as a child of God?  How many times do people wonder why God lets bad things happen?  Now that I'm a parent, I understand:  God lets bad things happen because we have to make mistakes to learn, and he loves ALL of us, even the ones making the mistakes.  But he is definitely a Father who is standing by to help pick up the pieces and heal the people who were hurt, because he is fair.  Perfectly and eternally fair.  So when something bad happens to you, don't give God that look that says, "How could you let this happen to me?"  Just trust him that he'll come in and help you pick up the pieces.