I was frightened to the core last night.
Thomas, after having been up in bed for an hour, padded down the stairs looking a little pale in his soft jammies.
"Mama, come see! On my bed...come see! So yucky, you can't TOUCH it! So yucky! Come see!"
For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what he was talking about so I scooped him up and we went upstairs together. As we reached his room, he wriggled out of my arms so he could dash ahead of me into his room. Thomas snapped on the light and climbed up to his bed and pointed at the offending "yucky" on his bed.
I gasped in horror.
There on his bed, were 5 little plastic round toys -- just slightly bigger than marbles, about an inch in diameter each. They sat on Thomas' bed in a smelly puddle of vomit.
It was clear what had happened even before Thomas rushed to explain what I was seeing.
"I had them in my mouth, Mama. ALL of them in my mouth, and my cheeks went like this (as he puffed out his cheeks like a little blow-fish). And then, they all came out with the yucky stuff. SO yucky, Mama. You can't touch it!"
My mind was a whirlwind of anger....scolding him for putting things in his mouth....and of thanksgiving....thank you Lord for protecting him....and of terror....we would have just found him lying in his bed in the morning....he would have just been here all night long all by himself....and of panic....I simply can not protect these children, no matter how hard I try.
My night was one of restless nightmares and trying to control my thoughts from headed down the dreaded "what if" path. Taking my thoughts captive after something like that is harder than normal!
I turned to the Word this morning for a bit of encouragement and perspective. After all, I know that our days are numbered even before our birth. When it comes to ME, I'm just fine with that truth. But my children? I'm okay with that truth....just as long as their number comes up sometime AFTER mine does!
But who am I to hold on to that sort of control? Who am I to turn to the LORD and declare that it will be fine, and good, and He will be called loving....only as long as things go the way I think they should?
Yes, my heart was primarily thankful and awe-struck last night as I realized just what sort of holy ground my life is....ground made holy by God Almighty Himself stepping daily in and around my life and keeping His mighty wing of love and protection over me and my family. Breathtaking.
And yet, in His loving and gentle way, He brought me to my knees before Him as He showed me my heart of sin.
"Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker -
An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth!
Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?'"
I am that earthenware vessel....that lump of clay in the Master Potter's hand. Who am I to question His methods? His vision?
He's been lovingly and gently shaping me into the perfect vessel. But what if this clay gets a bit tough....will He add water to soften me....making me feel a bit like I'm drowning, but then revealing the beauty at the very last moment? Or will He simply smash the vessel that's distorted because of the tough clay in order to start again?
Or will He create a simple humble pot, when I desire a thing of beauty instead?
Or...will He create what seems a perfect, delicate, beautiful vessel to contain His Holy Spirit....only to smash and crack it so that the Spirit can more easily seep into the world though the cracks?
I won't lie. It's scary to think about.
It's scary in part because I've seen Him work in other people's lives....in ways that I fear would destroy me.
At the end of the day though, I have to rely on who I know Jesus to be. He is the lover of my soul. He is a warrior for my salvation. He endured the impossible because of His love for me. He sustained those people who I expected to be crushed under His hand.
He protected my little boy last night.
And so I sit here a lowly lump of clay in my Loving Potter's hands.
Lord, make my life a thing of beauty in Your sight.
And Lord....thank you for your grace and mercy last night and each night. Thank you for loving this silly little lump of clay.