She searched for three days. She pillaged through every toy, underneath every seat in the truck, and even in the garage. Still, her iPad was nowhere in sight. It wasn’t until three days of rain had passed, the sun emerged, and I submitted to picking up the yard in preparatory duty before mowing that the discovery was made. Here sister had left her beloved electronic toy in the tree house. Soaked and soundless, it was quite obvious that this gadget had given up the ghost.
Surprisingly, my seven year-old did not cry. She didn’t pout or fight or fall on the floor flailing. It almost seemed as though she was completely unaffected. Puzzled, but somewhat concerned knowing that this is the same girl who, when she is physically injured holds all emotion inside until she is positively certain no one can see her, I went back out to my yard duties.
Later, when dinner was ready and Daddy entered from work, the mystery of my mini-me was solved. As her father greeted her, she grinned from ear to ear telling the tale. She disclosed the item she was holding behind her back, and with unwavering confidence she handed her rain-soaked iPad back to the one who gave it to her.
“Addie left my iPad outside,” she said still smiling like it was the best news in the world, “and I can never use it again!”
Bewildered as any dad might be given the situation he replied, “I guess you can’t play your games anymore then.”
Then the key to her strange behavior was revealed as her eyes moved toward the kitchen. “But you have another one, Daddy! You have two other ones! Maybe I can use that one!” she said as she pointed at the unopened box that had been lying on the counter for the past two months.
Upon changing phone companies we had received a free iPad that no one was using. She was happy when her old broken screen iPad was left in the rain because she was counting on her daddy’s incredible generosity. She was was depending on his unbelievable grace. She was altogether certain of her I-can-melt-your-heart-because-I-know-exactly-who-I-am place in his great big can’t-help-but-give-you-everything heart.
As if pretending that making her wait a week would fool any of us. We all knew he would give it to her eventually. We knew because we know him and he’s probably the most generous man we know. That and having four little girls does not do much for the hearts of even big tough guys who try to pretend they aren’t soft.
She did whisper the occasional, “Mommy, do you think he’ll give me that iPad?” throughout the waiting week. I just encouraged her. I reminded her that Daddy would most definitely do something. “Don’t you worry. He will not forget about you,” I told her.
Oh, to have that kind of hope! To be that confident and certain of my Father’s goodness! If I could just get a glimpse of the position I hold in his heart! Surely I would stop crying when my favorite ideas and plans are left alone and forgotten. Surely I would stop hurting when what I long for is washed completely away by the waters of loss. Surely I would understand my place in His heart even when I feel altogether unnecessary in this wide world. Surely I would stop struggling to be what I already am. Surely I would stop wondering why I have to wait so long to be used by His perfect power. Surely I would simply whisper my fearful doubts to my brothers and sisters and trust their reassurance.
I know my heavenly Father and he knows me. I just wish I could be like my daughter. I wish I could stand smiling with complete confidence while I wait for glory.
Maybe I am whispering now.
Maybe I just need what Maylee needed during the long week of waiting. Maybe I just need my brothers and sisters to encourage me. Maybe I’m asking. Please.
I know Daddy is so, so good. I know how outrageously generous He is. I know my place in His heart. I know he had great gifts lying on His shelf that already belong to me. But like Maylee’s toy, I am often desperately broken. I often feel very alone and abandoned. I often do not feel needed or useful and I do not know why. I feel like I am forever reaching and rarely being reach for. Thankfully, I do not live by feelings. I live by the Truth. So I’m asking.
From one who is real good at looking put together when I’m falling apart, help me. I need you. Be my real friend. Tell me to persevere. Share your struggles. Correct me. Help me hear His voice. Reassure me with His words. Encourage me with your joy. I just want to wait faithfully.