“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the rock eternal.” Isaiah 26: 3-4
We got in the car to drive to a birthday party for a friend of my four-year-old son. I couldn’t find the paper invitation, but I thought I had taken a picture of it on my phone. I couldn’t find that either.
Still, everything was great! My boys were happy. We were singing along to our Bible story songs channel on my radio app in the minivan. The party was at a local kid’s play gym. We had been there several times before so my brain was on autopilot, just happily driving along.
When we arrived, I noticed there were only about three others cars in the parking lot. This seemed a bit unusual for a party. It was ten minutes after the starting time, so I still felt like we were doing great, not overly eager to get there first, just fashionably late. But I still wondered where everyone else was. We walked in and I didn’t see any party decorations or balloons, and just a few other kids playing. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks, we were clearly at the wrong location! This one is near our house, but our friends live all the way on the other side of town. Why didn’t I think of that?! My boys were already starting to take their shoes off and put them into the cubbies to get ready to play. I was trying not to panic, and checking with the lady at the counter for the address of the correct location. All the while, I was feeling like the worst mommy ever! I thanked the lady and scrambled back to the car with the boys. By now, my little one was crying for his shoes to be put back on his feet.
I put the new address in my GPS. The real party was 40 minutes away. My heart sank. My poor sons were going to miss half of their two hour party because their mommy totally failed! I wondered why my brain can’t just work the way I want it to??
At this point my stomach was in knots, and I really felt like I could cry. But I didn’t. I took a deep breath and put the car into drive. My radio app came back on and a kid’s version of “Peace Like a River” began playing. You know, the old classic song that goes, “I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.” It stopped me in my tracks, and I commented to my precious four-year-old, “I need to pray for Jesus to give me peace, because mommy is feeling really upset right now.” I looked back and saw him sitting in his car seat, birthday present in hand, completely calm. His simple response was “Well mommy, God already gave me peace.” From the mouths of babes!
I was so amazed that here I was a stressed out wreck, and my son was sitting there as calm as could be! I remembered then that we had heard the same song a few days earlier. I had asked him if he knew what peace was. And then I explained to him (in four-year-old terms) that peace is when we feel really calm and happy, not worried or upset. Real peace comes from God, He gives it to us. What a wonderful gift that is! And what a lesson for my heart to see my sweet child sitting there so content, trusting in peace that I would get him to the party and that God is in control. Oh if I would only trust my Father in heaven that calmly!
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
I started singing along to the song, and I realized what happened wasn’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, it was just what we needed that day. We had 40 more minutes to sing our Bible songs and be together in the car. I had two healthy, safe, wonderful little boys. And we learned a valuable lesson about resting in God’s peace. We ended up getting to the party and they had a little over an hour to play, eat, and sing “Happy Birthday” to their friend. We had a great time and the boys never remembered the rough beginning.
I wouldn’t choose to have the silly failures that I do, I’d rather get it right the first time. But they are part of life, because I am human and so imperfect. I think sometimes God in His amazing providence and loving-kindness uses these situations to remind us that when we are not perfect, He is. And when we are weak, He is strong. And hopefully, our failures keep us a little more humble, and aware of our need for Him. I know I can sometimes develop an attitude that looks a little bit like “I’ve got this mom thing down pretty good,” at least in my own mind. And then like a loving parent, God uses some circumstance to humble me and bring me back to the reality of my weakness and His strength.
“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 NIV
I love to see how God uses our children and their innocent trust to remind us to rely on Him and rest in His perfect timing and His perfect peace. I learn so much from my kids every day, about myself, and about God and His goodness. That’s the reason I started this blog, just to share those the sweet lessons He is teaching me through motherhood. So next time you have a “mommy fail,” take a breath, sing a song, and thank God for His peace that flows over us, peace like a river!
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” II Thessalonians 3:16 NKJV