I stopped at Tim Horton’s on my way to cello lessons with three of my kids. (For all you non-Canadians, Tim Horton’s is Canada’s coffee shop of choice!) We’d just finished one and a half hours of violin, a stop at Costco and a quick run into Petland in the afternoon. My morning had been full of grocery shopping, guitar lessons, voice lessons, a library visit and a quick trip to the Thrift Shop.
During the drive from violin to cello, I vented my frustration at one of my kids. Instead of waiting until I got home, had cooled down and thought things through well, I opened my mouth and let loose.
That’s why I stopped at Tim Horton’s. I needed a nice cup of coffee to nurse during the cello lesson. I also wanted to treat my child… to let her know that I loved her even though her actions were less than honorable.
The drive-thru was a mile long – at least it seemed like it – so we parked and walked in. After using a gift card I’d received a few months ago, I walked out with my cup of comfort and a few peace packages.
Moments later we arrived at the lesson. I rushed my cello player out of the van, checked to make sure the others had something to do while we waited, shoved my cell phone in my pocket, grabbed the keys with one hand and the large hot coffee with the other. I swung out of the van, checked to make sure it was locked and followed my kids to the door. Or at least I tried to.
As I went toward the house, my left foot stepped on the edge of a pot hole. My ankle went over and down I went! My coffee spilled out all over the road, my keys went flying and my very bright, orange purse landed in the coffee puddle as I hit the ground.
It was devastating to see my 12 ounces of solace pour out on the concrete. But that was nothing compared to the embarrassment I felt when a lady came running out of her house to see if I was all right.
Inside I had two tracks running. One said, “I’m so embarrassed! How come stuff like this always happens to me?” The other marvelled at the compassion and kindness of a complete stranger.
This fine woman brought me paper towels to wipe off my purse, pants and hands, which were stinging. She checked to see if I was okay before she went back into her house.
Then I was blessed by an incredible offer of a cup of coffee from my cello teacher. As I opened the door she met me with, “So would you like a cup of coffee to replace the other one? What do you take in it?”
This is out of character for her, but I loved every caffeinated sip. What a gift!
It’s interesting how God had to take me down a peg or two. I was getting pretty high and mighty with my kids. I was letting them know “who’s boss.” It was quite clear who was in charge.
The problem was that I had forgotten Who that was. I had slipped into some old ways and thought it was me. Oh, I wouldn’t have said that out loud… that’s just how I was acting. Like an immature brat who thinks she knows more than her Father.
God was gracious to me today. As I’m reading through the Old Testament, I see how God teaches His people about His holiness, His authority and His expectations. He treats them like His own children and then disciplines them when they need it.
As I fell flat on my face in the middle of the road, God was handing out grace and love in huge doses. You see, I needed that more than I needed to be right, or to be in charge, or to be coddled by Him. He needed to get me back down to the place where I would look up to Him and see who He is and who I am not.
It wasn’t fun in the moment, my ankle still hurts, it was embarrassing and my coffee money was essentially spilled out for the humbling of my spirit. But I’m glad He loves me enough to discipline me.
I thank God for my moment in the hole.
My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
Proverbs 3:11-12, NIV
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