Tonight, we are again blessed by the writings of Joe Goodspeed, a retired minister of the Gospel who still writes terrific thoughts on a daily basis. I leave today to come home from Vietnam. Pray for me- LONG FLIGHT!
The father of a seven year old boy had a persistent habit. When coming home from work each day, he would pour a glass of milk, get just one cookie, then would go to his recliner and rest his dog-tired body while snacking. One afternoon, after having been chewed out by his boss at quitting time, the dad came in and went straight to the recliner. His little boy, taking it all in, went to the kitchen, poured a glass of milk, spilling some, then got the cookie, messily leaving some crumbs on the floor, and then took the snack to his dad. His dad was surprised that Charlie was growing up so fast. He thanked him, and got a lift of his spirit, realizing that the boy would act with such observation and care.
Later, the dad, in the kitchen noticed the "mess." Crumbs were all over the floor. The spilled milk was there, and Charlie had even stepped in it--what a mess!. He smiled, thinking of the unsolicited love his boy had shown.
What a wonderful replay this is of our relationship with others and the Lord. Try as we may, we make all kinds of mistakes all along in life. We botch it when we are trying to do well but say the wrong thing. Sometimes it even seems that if we had tried to do a worse job at something than we did, it would take some imagination and effort. Sometimes we look back and see opportunities we missed even when we thought we were doing a pretty good job.
But surely God, in some ways, is like Charlie's dad. Just thumbing through the Bible, you find that many of the characters God used were very imperfect. Noah pleased God in many ways, but one of the first things he did after the flood was to plant a grape vine, and in time he made wine and became drunk. Abraham was a man of faith, but didn't always act like it. As a matter of fact, he tried to substitute his plan for the Lord's. Many other examples could be given, but the point is, though we always need to "trust in the Lord and do right," sometimes when we spill the milk and leave a few crumbs like Charlie, God still loves us, forgives us when we seek him, and is a God of love and mercy. And we too, like Charlie's dad, sometimes need to ease up a little on our expectation of others.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org