As I bared my soul to you about how my need to please my son overrode my need to please God, I was amazed at the response! Thank you for sharing that you, too, feel that same tugging to give your kids the world; how you have felt those same convictions and faced the struggle, just like I did; how you took back items to the store that God had been convicting you about, after reading my story.
We really are all in this mom-thing together, aren’t we?
So what happened when I returned to Target, to the scene of the crime?
God proved that He is always faithful.
When I was originally convicted about purchasing the backpack and boots for my son, I knew it was a timing issue and not an item issue. He wasn’t telling me not to buy those things ever, just not in that moment. (There have been many times He has convicted me of the purchase itself. This was not one of those times.)
So, with the green light from God the following Friday, I headed back to Target to purchase the backpack and boots I had returned, fingers-crossed that they would still be there. My son was anticipating getting the school items he wanted and had been talking about it all morning.
A thought nagged in my heart-
“What if they sold out while we waited for payday? What would I tell my son then?”
I mentally prepared a speech in my head, just in case the boots and bag weren’t there. Past the dollar section and women’s clothing, winding through the racks to the display that had held his boots. There was one pair of size twelves left. Phew!
I grabbed them off the rack and held them up victoriously in front of my son.
“Can you believe it?! Your boots are still here! Isn’t that cool God gave them back, even though He didn’t have to?”
(Pause for Mother-son high-five moment.)
As we turned to approach the backpack display, I saw a sea of flannel shirts hanging neatly in rows.
Not on the next rack. Not on the opposite side.
Backpacks were a no-go.
They were nowhere to be found.
We both felt the weight of disappointment. I prepared to share my wisdom about God being faithful even when things don’t go our way and I was interrupted-
“MOM!! I see one!”
There it was, that super-cool backpack, hanging at the end of a clothing rack, haphazardly thrown over a hook. Victory!!!
My son ran to the bag, yanked it off the rack and held it up in triumph. He slipped it on his shoulders and yelled, “Mom! This is MY bag!! REALLY! It’s the one I brought back!!”
He wasn’t kidding.
This bag he loved was originally found in what we have deemed the “Big Boy” section, since he barely fits into the clothes there. Because the bag was designed for a much bigger kid, we had to adjust the shoulder straps to their smallest setting in order to fit his first grade shoulders. (It was almost comical, the amount we had to shrink it.) When we returned the bag to the store, we didn’t adjust the straps back to their original position.
This bag that my son held couldn’t have been adjusted to any smaller of a setting. This was THE bag we had returned, and my son knew immediately that it was HIS.
He said “God gave me back MY bag!”
What an incredible story of God’s faithfulness to us! But as I ponder all the details of how it went down, I have to question:
Why are we shocked that God comes through for us when we are obedient to Him?
Are we so conditioned to mistrust and question God that it has become our norm rather than the occasional doubt?
“God gave me back MY bag.”
Six little words uttered by a child should be our anthem as we learn to trust God in ALL things. We know He holds all the tiny details and orchestrates the moving parts, but we question whether He will do it for us. We don’t feel worthy enough or qualified to receive His goodness. Our hearts stay guarded, believing we can’t always have the happy ending we long for. We find it hard to trust that God will give us exactly that we need.
Here is the Truth:
Nothing you can accomplish deems you worthy enough to receive God’s blessing. It is because of the sacrifice of Jesus that we are blessed the way we are. The cross opened a way for us to accept unconditional grace. Unconditional. You accept it, and you are made whole. There is no amount of “good works” that qualify you for His blessing. By accepting Christ, you are accepting complete grace for every choice you make. It’s our example of love perfected.
We are good enough because He loved us enough.
When we step out in faith to follow His guidelines, even when it hurts, He will always be faithful right back.
As we begin a new chapter- school, falling leaves, pumpkin-spice flavored everything- may we remember to step out in faith, believe that we are made complete through the cross, and trust the prompting that God places in our hearts-
May we begin to believe that we are worthy of a backpack and boots, too.