Over the summer, New City hosted “Kids Club” in White City. It was almost 2 weeks of games, stories, crafts and general madness. One of the last days of the club was particularly draining – it was a crazy, energy sucking, whirlwind day. To make matters worse, the day started with our two-year-old, Thayne, greeting us in the morning by smearing poop all over her room. From there the day only increased in craziness. By the afternoon I had run up and down Shepherds Bush to get supplies for the day’s activities, gotten banana in my hair, and was locked out of our flat for almost an hour; all the while dealing with fussy babies!
Around 3:00 in the afternoon I finally had a quiet moment to myself. I was sitting outside feeling tired, burned out and very sorry for myself. “Why is everything so hard, and why can’t the kids just BEHAVE?!”
Then I look up and see a small green caterpillar crawling over a plant in our garden. This immediately brought to mind a sermon that I recently listened to by Paul Tripp from Jonah chapter 3. Jonah is pouting outside of Nineveh, because the LORD has relented from destroying the city. God sends a plant to shade Jonah from the sun, then that night God sends a worm to eat the plant. Tripp made the point that GOD SENT that worm. He controls even the tiniest parts of creation. AND He did it to show His love to Jonah. God wanted Jonah’s heart, not his mere obedience.
The same is true today. God controls EVERYTHING. Worms, weather, crying babies and counsel taxes. He is also pursuing our hearts. He doesn’t want us to be robots, or even little Christian minions who do his bidding; He wants children who love Him, as He loves us. When I feel sorry for myself, I am forgetting who God is and what He is like:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
HE is God, He controls circumstances. So when I feel sorry for myself (which is another way of complaining) I am saying that God doesn’t know what He’s doing. “He mustn’t be doing His job right! Otherwise I would be happier.” This is a LIE! God loves me too much to just make give me whatever I want in the moment. In the same way I deny Thayne candy right before bed (much to her disapproval), God allows us to suffer. Because He knows what we need better than we do. We serve the God of worms, and we can trust Him in EVERY circumstance. I needed to hear that, and I pray that He will keep reminding me whenever I forget.