Not long ago I was startled when I witnessed Bryan strike out in anger at my David while they played together with the train set. As soon as Bryan hit David, you could tell on his face that he had made a grave mistake. Almost immediately he went into the bathroom, albeit with much fear and trepidation. After our typical prayer and consultation Bryan said to me, “I wish Jesus would rewind to the time right before I hit David.”
I kind of chuckled and thought to myself that Bryan had been watching too many movies.
Fast-forward 24 hours…. The day was not going as planned for me. As I read to the kids the little ones were louder and more physical than normal. With every passing paragraph I grew more irritated. Finally the children seemed to get quiet and I was able to read about three chapters of the book. I was halfway through the fourth when they once again began fussing with each other. I tossed the book down, just a bit harder than I should have and declared reading time over and sent everyone to their rooms.
For the next forty-five minutes I heard nothing but bickering among the kids. As I tried to get a simple lunch made, I had to stop every few minutes to have a consultation with a child. I’m afraid our house was infected with a virus of unknown origin, but which had the unmistakable symptom of grouchiness. It infected even me.
After taking three times as long to get lunch on the table, I went to settle down at my computer for a bit of writing time while kids finished up lunch then went on with their usual afternoon assignments.
Within a few short minutes I was sick of hearing my own name. I was constantly bombarded with children asking questions, most of which were completely irrelevant to the assignments they had been given.
I tried to calm my nerves, but could do nothing. Just when I would take a deep breath, once again I would hear from another room, “Moooooooommmmmmm, can you come here?”
I began to count my blessings and thought momentarily that I had too many. Suddenly all the blood rushed to my head and I let out a scream. It didn’t relieve me; it only made me feel extremely embarrassed. Then to make matters even worse I told my husband that he was now in charge because I was leaving!
I slammed out the door, got in the car and began to drive. I contemplated the airport, but knew that would not help.
Recently I had been feeling quite depressed and completely without reason. Searching my mind for a way out of the depression I opted for a perm. I drove for forty-five minutes. The alone time with the Lord was extremely helpful. In fact, I thought that perhaps I was okay to just go home. However, I had driven all that way, I may as well get the perm. I reasoned to myself.
As I sat being tortured, I thought to myself that I really deserved this pulling of my hair after the childish way I acted at home. It almost comforted me to know I was getting a smidgen of what I deserved for my behavior.
I don’t often find myself in a depressed mode for very long so it had taken me a little by surprise. I was also quite upset that I couldn’t seem to just pull myself up by my bootstraps and be happy and content. Even though I had spent a good deal of time alone in the car talking to the Lord, I still didn’t think I was quite out of the yucky feelings.
For some reason I was convinced that getting a perm so I would look like Julia Roberts would make me all better. The only problem I had of course was that I am way too short to look like her. And I don’t have nearly as many teeth. As the stylist worked on my hair I glanced into the mirror and noticed that I looked a lot like my mom. It wasn’t the look I wanted.
When I arrived home nine smiling faces all full of forgiveness greeted me. All the kids loved my hair. Then Steve casually mentioned that I looked like my mom. Tears welled up in my eyes. I ran up the stairs and began to bawl. I don’t want to look like my mom! She’s twenty years older than I am. I want to look like Julia Roberts!
I finally composed myself and returned to the family who seems to manage to love me in spite of myself. As we sat in the living room I looked at Bryan and said, “Hey Bud, do you think I could rewind today?”
He looked me right in the eye and said. “No. Only Jesus can rewind your day.”
He was right. As much as I wanted to forget how badly I felt and behaved, I was powerless on my own to do anything about it. I needed the redemptive power of Jesus Christ to come to me who at the time was worthless for Him.
Barb Shelton once said this about redemption. “Redeem is to take something of little or no value (me when I’m too frustrated to act rationally) and turn it in to one who has great wealth and power and in exchange receive something of great value.”
Within moments after praying for Jesus to restore me, I had the great value that I so needed. I had forgiveness, and a clean slate! What a gift! It was much better than a perm and He didn’t even use the remote to rewind the day.
Even though I know I’m washed clean, I still occasionally slip up and do or say, sometimes both with tremendous force, the things I know that I should not say or do.