“…we all stumble in many ways”. – James 3:2a (ESV)
My son is the greatest kid on earth! Not that I’m biased or anything. Every parent should think their kidlet(s) is/are the greatest on earth. My boy is a little guy with a big heart and curious mind. Very smart. Very athletic. Fantastic at gymnastics. Funny. Determined. Excels in his career as a second grader. Biggest grin in the county. Handsome. Loves animals.
I could go on for hours. And will. Just ask anyone who makes the mistake of asking me about him. Out comes the phone and the photos.
My child is wonderful. But he is not perfect. In fact, in one area especially, he needs some help.
The problem: my eight year old is a human tornado. Looking at the Enhanced Fujita Scale, I would rate my child an EF5: the most destructive tornado there is. Capable of producing wind speeds in excess of 200 mph (322 km/h for our Canadian and European friends), and EF5 is capable of total, massive destruction. It can level a town or throw a vehicle up to one mile.
OK. Maybe he’s more like an EF1. But still, those will mess up a roof in a hurry, or bust out windows.
Poor kid… You’d think he’d get the hint. After “I love you”, “great job” and “stop doing that”, his mom and I’s most commonly uttered phrase to him: “Pick that up.” Or any one of a number of variants on that particular theme.
When he walks in a room, toys, games and various and sundry objects he absolutely no business touching in the first place, fly off their shelves and cupboards behind him. He tears through the house, leaving a path of destruction in his wake.
When he enters a town, tornado sirens wail.
The Weather Channel has crew camped in our front yard.
But if all we did was focus on his poor messiness habit, we would miss all the wonderful things about our kid. They would diminish.
It is the same with life. Life has a poor messiness habit. It can tear through your home, your family, your work… leaving a path of destruction that my son would consider a challenge to his throne.
So what do we do? In my son’s case, we keep reminding him to pick up after himself. And, if the mess is too big, we help him. But we don’t dwell in his inner EF5. We accentuate the positive as the old song goes, and work on the rest. We help him along, praise him often, correct him when needed, love him at all times.
When troubles rips through your world, you can’t sit and stare at the damage. Look at the rest of the world around you. Find beauty. Most importantly, look to God. He is there for you. He will help you clean up the mess. He corrects us when needed, but He loves us – loves you – at all times.
And there is nothing more beautiful than that.
Be thankful. Stay faithful. Ask. Seek. Knock. God is with you always – even / especially in the storms.