I still don't think he understands how a garage sale works.
He held up an action figure- his action figure. The one I snatched from his top drawer because he NEVER plays with it, and the proceeds of the sale went to send my husband and a church member to Kenya to share the Gospel.
"Yes, you can buy it," I resigned.
"It's free-will donation. It costs as much as you think it should."
He held out his hand in expectation. I guess he thought I paid him to take the toy away. Some days...
After the unsold merchandise was packed up and ready to donate to a local mission, we went home. Moments later, my son was in tears. "He left his toy in the basement," my daughter informed me. It was packed up.
I told the boy, "Go upstairs..."
"I didn't bring it upstairs."
"No, go upstairs, into your room..."
"But it's not up there."
"I know. Let me finish. Go upstairs, into your room, and look around at all the toys you do have. You have lots of toys, Honey. You didn't need that one."
I don't know the typical period of mourning over a lost Transformer, but he was over it pretty quickly. Distracted. The next day, another little boy found the Transformer buried in the boxes, and loved it. My son was more than eager to sell it to him for two bucks- yes, the money went into the garage sale pot:)
I know it isn't always that easy. The typical period of mourning means very little when what you are missing is a who. Friends, family gone into glory. Broken relationships that once meant the world to you.
You'd give everything to have them back. I know that feeling.
I'm not being callous. I try to avoid the "wisdom" of Job's friends. But what I say to you, I say to myself as well: Look around you.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—
Three things weave together- Prayer, Watchfulness, and Thanksgiving braided into a life in Christ. How would our lives be changed if today, in our own prisons for Christ, we were watchful for His blessings? His mercies new every morning?
The braid forming a rope to which we cling when the crushing weight of our brokenness threatens to push us into the abyss.
The rope woven into the net that catches us when we just can't hold on anymore.
The net that pulls us into the hands of our Redeemer.
The Redeemer who prays "Thy Will Be Done" to His Father, knowing that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
The Father, who sends His Spirit into us, making us holy, sacred, and keeping us that way.
So that we can pray, watch, and thank in faith.
Look around you- you have the entire Trinity loving you, holding you. And if that's not a way to see this mess of a world, I don't know what is.
Praying for you, lovely friends! Praying God gives you reason after reason to watch and be thankful. He loves you. He is faithful. He wastes nothing, working in every single thing for the good of those who belong to Him. He loves you today and every day.