Blisters, Plungers, and Patience

I rubbed a blister on my hand today. I rubbed the blister into the palm of my right hand with the handle of a plunger. Yes, a NASTY plunger. It wasn’t the first time this week I had to plunge out a certain someone’s toilet. In fact it was just yesterday that I found my sweet someone’s toilet filled with a WHOLE roll of toilet paper. I had gone over the issues that using too much toilet paper was a waste of God’s resources, that a whole roll of toilet paper would not flush down in one much less five flushes, AND that too much toilet paper could clog the toilet. So when I entered my sweet little one’s bathroom, noticed the water level in the toilet too high, and a large mass of wet toilet paper clumped in the drain, my righteous anger began to boil. My internal monologue started like this…

“KILL KILL KILL! Didn’t I just tell her about the toilet paper?”  Then I jabbed the plunger into the toilet.

In comes another one of my sweet bundles of joy. Standing within range of the water that was now sloshing in the toilet bowl from my frantic attempts at getting the toilet paper down the drain. In an attempt to keep all my blessings dry, I sent them out of the room. My anger mounting as I returned to my thoughts.

“She knows better! I told her yesterday, reminded her today. Now my back is starting to hurt and my arms are getting sore.” (Before you think I am a wimp, I have the WORST plunger in the world. When I remember I need a new one, I am in the midst of using the old one. Maybe the blister I rubbed will remind me to pick one up the next time I am out).

In walks my precious little culprit with a request to help her open her snack, interrupting my internal monologue. My heart wanted to yell and scream, but God slapped His hand over my mouth. I calmly opened the fruit snacks and went back to work.

This time praying that the toilet would not overflow and that I would be able to plunge the problem away. In the meantime I worked up quite the blister in the middle of my right hand. As I left the bathroom, toilet now in working order, I noticed my blister. Then I realized how often this scenario must play out in my life, only with God doing the plunging. Can you hear it?

“Angela I told you too much ______ is not good for you. It is a waste of the precious time I am giving you on this Earth. You cannot handle it even if you try five or more times, too much is sin. Oh sweet Daughter, too much entangles you and holds you fast so you cannot get out of it yourself.” Can you see God banging His head against the wall and thinking, “KILL KILL KILL! Why doesn’t she get it?” No, Psalm 103:8-14 says, “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

Just as I need to remember my precious ones are young and prone to mistakes, God remembers I am dust and has compassion on me. Can it be that the compassion I need desperately from my God, is the same compassion my children need as I correct and train and discipline them? Oh to discipline as the Lord does, in love and with compassion. Oh to look on the battle scars I bear from raising and training my children and remember the scars of my Savior Jesus Christ. That He bore all my sin so that I wouldn’t have to. May my blister and my plunger forever remind me of God’s patience for me, that I may extend patience towards others.

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