photo credit: Broken and Stacked by pigment_shots
It was one of those moments.
My boys, 6 and 8, were
I had tried everything…counting to three, threatening, taking away privileges, yelling. Nothing was working. In my final desperate attempt to pull them apart, I picked up my hefty, six-year-old.
My eight-year-old followed us as I walked into the kitchen. In his hand was his lunch plate.
As my younger one flailed in my arms, his foot swung out and knocked the plate from his brother’s hand.
The plate shattered
as it hit the tile floor.
In a moment, the storm stopped. All eyes were looking at me, waiting for my reaction.
React. I. Did.
But not the way I or they would have expected.
Somehow, by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s fruit of self-control, I laughed, and said something like, “Well that was unexpected”.
Our attention then shifted to cleaning up the broken plate. And, in a moment we were a cohesive team helping one another carefully clean up the glass.
My heart cried out,
“Thank you, God, for broken plates.”
Sure, it was unfortunate that the plate broke. However, I had no more tools left in my back pocket for quieting the storm that was unraveling in my home. Do I believe God sent the broken plate?
More importantly was the defining moment when I chose my reaction. It could have gone very wrong. My frustration at my children could have magnified into an outburst of anger that I would have regretted later.
I lifted up my prayer again, “Thank you, God, for broken plates”. My simple prayer took my mind off the squall going on between my two beloved children. And, redirected my focus on cleaning up a mess. It gave me a moment to pause and take a deep breath.
Has there been a time in your life when a “broken plate” caused you to stop, pause and change direction?
Maybe it was something that appeared, at the time, to be a complete inconvenience or disruption. Or maybe it was something as serious as an illness or broken relationship.
Is it possible that it was God’s way of redirecting you? Do you believe God can purpose the “broken plates” in our lives for His glory?
I believe He can, in His mysterious way.
Funny thing is, now, when I am having a difficult time reasoning with my children, I silently call up to God, “I need a broken plate”.
Do you perceive the “broken plates” in your life an obstacle or an opportunity?
Ask God today to change your perspective.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (ESV, James 3:17-18).
The original post appeared at Finding Purpose in the Pain on September 28, 2012.