Saturday we went, as a family, to a birthday party. The little boy was turning one. So you can imagine the cuteness of said party.
While there, I felt semi-uncomfortable, because while I do well at being loud in smaller groups or with people I know, I really am quite uncomfortable in large social settings, around people I don't know. (I'm not a people person... Shocking I know.)
The dad of the little boy, works with my husband.
As you can imagine, there were lots and lots and lots of people there.
I knew about 1.5 of them. One of which, being the birthday boy. So you can imagine the scene.
About 50 people I didn't know, stacked inside of a house, with limited seating, or standing room. Swamps of party decor, balloons, food and beverages piled high, signs and banners...it's was your typical middle-class, first birthday experience.
So naturally, with four kids, I spent most of the time wrangling cattle...I mean children. And searching the span of the room over and over again, as my eyes needed to mentally "count" Children every 10.8 seconds.
"One. Two. Three. Four".
"One. Two. Three. Four"
"One. Two. Three. Four".
"One. Two. Three..... Three......
Where is....oh four".
It's all too familiar for parents of multiple children!!
So I'm watching and counting and supervising and parenting, and I can see Wesley, looking for Paco.
Paco at this point in the party (i.e. 5 minutes after entering) is amongst the drodes of people: talking, chatting, reminiscing, and enjoying his blue-to-match-the-party-theme solo cup of lemonade.
Wesley is searching for him. He can see him from across the room. So he begins to make his way in Paco's general direction.
But once he's in the general area of where Paco stands, Wes can no longer see above the towering adults crowding in front of him.
He can't see the forest through the trees.
He's trying, but there's just too much around him to see his dad.
So he comes back. He gets back to the side near me, where it's cleared out enough, to search for Paco.
He looks up, standing as tall as he can on his tip-toes, yells out "Dad!" And sees him. He gets his bearings, and starts the search again.
Pushing and plowing through tons of strangers, trying to get to his daddy's side. And again- when he's surrounded by the happenings of the party- his view is clouded, and he can no longer see Paco. Whom mind you, is just behind the group of adults Wes is in front of. Literally- Paco was directly in front of Wes- but Wes couldn't see him, because of the others.
Not more than a foot away, but Wes couldn't make him out.
So back Wes goes- to the other end of the room, where his vision is clear and the bigger picture can be seen. And finally, after about 8 attempts, he made it to Paco!
Paco scooped him up, shared some lemonade with Wes, and the two never separated.
I watched this happen, and couldn't help but see the spiritual parallel.
Sometimes we are so close to what's happening around us, that we can't see the big picture and find our way back to the Father's arms.
Sometimes I am too close to my husband, and we argue over silly things, and I can't see how God is using him for my good.
Sometimes I'm surrounded by so much negativity, be it on the news, or Facebook feeds, that I can't see how God could possibly intervene.
Sometimes life is so sad and hopeless, that I loose the big picture of God's master plan.
And I really need to do like Wes did, and go back to where I last saw Jesus, and refocus. Re-center. Re-align myself with where God is working.
We can easily get caught up in what is happening right in front of us, be it offense, busy-ness, or parenting. But if we would step back, and see God's bigger picture and master plan, we would find how close- or some times, how far- we really are from His heart and His loving arms.
Maybe you're reading this and you're in a situation that looks grim. Maybe you've been given a diagnosis or news that's not easily worked through. Know that Jesus is there, just a few inches from you, if you would just re-align yourself to finding Him!
Maybe you've lost all joy, and the stress and worry of life and responsibility has taken it's toll on you. Know that if you would return to the place where you last saw Jesus...and get a vision of where He is- His arms are open and waiting for you.
Maybe you've been working and toiling and trying so hard, to be good, or be righteous, or be of worth. And you are waiting for your reward. Know that His grace covers you, and has already made the way, so that when you press through the circumstance of life, He will be ready and waiting to "share His lemonade"...and pour out a blessing on you, so much so that you cannot contain it.
When our vision gets blurry, we need to step back and see what God is doing. Where He is. What He is saying. And How to find Him.
I know I tend to make spiritual things out of nothing but dust. But that's exactly the image that I was made in the likeness of. The One who makes beautiful, living, spiritual things- from nothing but dust.
Jesus help me to see the bigger picture. Help me to step back and find you when life seems overwhelming. Help me not to "miss" You and what You're doing, because I'm so close to the situations around me, myself, and I.
And when I find you, help me to know that Your arms are open and waiting for me to be embraced!!!
"Seek Him while He may be found. Call to Him while He is near". Isaiah 55:6.