I had reached my limit for the day. It was a long, hard day, you know the kind. The kind where no matter what you did or how busy you were, it plodded along like a snail through peanut butter and seemingly would never end. I was exhausted and everything on me felt heavy as lead; it took a Samson-like effort to move my limbs and form a coherent thought and after a long day of being up in front of a classroom, and the only thing I wanted to do was take a long, blissful nap. But that doesn’t happen when you have young children who are riled up and overstimulated upon pick up from daycare.
So the inevitable happened, as you can probably guess. As I picked up my children from daycare that day, I had to use my “massive mom-muscles” to wrestle them into the car, which of course, did not make them happy as all they wanted to do was continue running around and keep moving. A car ride was not on their agenda. The 1-year old had to have her toy to play with while in the car seat, but that wasn’t enough as her winter coat made her uncomfortable in the seat. The 5-year old was just in a bad mood, over tired, and all he wanted was Daddy. Daddy is his best buddy, and my son will spew hell-fire if he doesn’t get his dad the moment he wants him.
Then, the whining and tears and frustration ensued.
My 1-year old daughter dropped her toy out of reach and began to shriek. It was that kind of high-pitched shriek that raises the hair on the back of your neck and makes your shoulders tense up in pain as you endure the shrillness of her anguish.
My 5-year old son was still whining for Daddy and his sister’s crying only intensified his angst. He began to sob and scream and cough because of his frustration, which then, in turn, made his sister cry more.
And Mommy? Oh, I was doing everything I could do to keep from yelling myself, because my long day of being over tired and exhausted and fed up was coming to a head as well. So what did I do instead of yelling? Bawl. Sob. Ugly-cry. We three were a hot mess, and must’ve been quite the sight to see.
A recurring theme that has been making itself appear in my Bible and personal studies lately has been that we are never alone. God is always with us, through every moment in our lives, big or small, inconsequential or life-altering. Deuteronomy 31:6 states, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (NIV). Well at that moment when I chose to weep instead of yell, I felt so alone, raw, vulnerable. I knew in my heart that God was always with me, but in that moment I didn’t and couldn’t feel it.
As my warm, salty tears streamed down my face and I tried to get home as quickly (and safely) as I could, I turned on a worship song that my kids and I have been enjoying lately. Truth be told, I switched it on to try and distract myself from the hair-raising screeches taking place in my backseat. But something even better happened.
Almost instantly, my daughter stopped crying. Once she stopped crying, my son took her cue and calmed down as well. As the music streamed through the speakers of my car, I looked back and started to ugly cry again. But this time, I ugly cried tears of joy.
As I glanced back, I could see two tiny hands joined together as the music played on. My son had reached over to hold his sister’s hand as they both bobbed along to the beat of the music. I glanced to see the reflection in the mirror to make sure I was actually experiencing this calm, and I could see two tiny faces, both smiling lovingly at each other while dancing to the worship song.
And then, (the best part?) I felt a sense of peace and relief wash over me as I let out the breath I didn’t know I had been holding. God was there, in that small moment. He was there reminding me that no matter how stressed I get, how anxious I feel, He would never leave me alone.
In the grand scheme of our time here on Earth, I realize that this was a small moment. We all have (and will) experience much harder situations throughout the rest of our lives. But the small moments are the ones that remind us that God is always there. The small moments are the ones where we need to look up and praise Him. The small moments are the ones that we need to continue to reach out and grab hold of Him. We are very quick to do it when something life-changing is at stake, and there is nothing wrong with that! He is faithful and is ever-present. But what about reaching out and grabbing hold of Him in the small moment, when nothing is life-changing, but just to say, “I know you’re here, Lord, and thank you for being so faithful”?
That small moment was exactly what I needed that day, and God knew that. Even though I had reached my limit and had been plodding through peanut butter, in that moment He lifted my heavy limbs and settled my soul. And He’s there to do that for you my friend. He’s with us to carry our burdens, because He can and will. Just remember to reach out and grab hold of Him in every moment, no matter how big or small.