Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Locked Out

Have you ever been locked out of your house? How about with your small children inside? I'd never had this experience until recently. I was at home taking care of our 5 year old daughter Sophia and our 1 year old son Ezra. Sophia recently had her birthday and received an elephant that blows butterflies out of its nose (don't ask). The problem with "Elefun" is that it required C batteries. I was excited to be a superdad and get this new toy up and running but didn't have an C batteries. Then I remembered we had a variety of gadgets in our garage that I might be able to pilfer batteries from. I opened the door to our garage and went into it and found just what I was looking for - an old machine that shakes a crib which Ezra no longer needed. I grabbed a screwdriver and opened it up and there were the perfect number of C batteries! Alright! Just as I began to celebrate I heard the garage door close. Ezra who has recently begun to walk quite well, also has taken the habit of making sure all doors, cabinets, dishwashers, pretty much anything he can reach, is closed. I laughed as I went to the door as Ezra began to get upset. He likes to close himself or others off but then gets bothered that he can't open the door. I grabbed the door knob was locked. I didn't panic I opened the garage door, went around to the front - it was bolted closed. The anxiety began to rise.

I went around to the back to the sliding door. It too, was locked. I'm in close to full panic at this point. Ezra has begun screaming and crying. He moved to the sliding glass door where he could see me, but this only made him more upset because he thought I had gone to play outside without him. Why won't dad let me go out and play with him? I moved to the windows, which also had been diligently locked. I looked inside through the window to see Sophia playing I-Pad, drinking some milk, watching TV, all the while sitting in her pink fluffy chair. I knocked on the window and yelled her name. She waved at me and went back to her activities. What was I going to do? I ran around to the front again to see if I could get inside through ingenuity. Nope. At least not without causing significant damage to the doors of the home we rent. On the way back and forth I ran into a neighbor who let me borrow his phone. I was able to call Benita and eventually got in touch with her. She was close by and was on her way home immediately. I wondered if this might be the end of my marriage. I set a hammer out just in case I really needed to break in and went around to the back again. I sat and tried to comfort Ezra through the glass until Benita got home. Everyone was safe, everything was ok. Ezra even calmed down after mom held him for awhile and I finally took him outside to play.

Do you ever have moments like this? Where things are completely and totally out of your control? Typically it's in these situations that our stress rises. I'm reminded of what Paul wrote to the Philippians in 4:6-7. "Do not be anxious about anything [really???] but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Prayer is always appropriate, but especially in situations we have no control whatsoever. We remember who is in control, who is sovereign, who "in all for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). When we truly believe this, allow it to permeate and sink deeply into our hearts, we find that we don't have to be full of anxiety because God is in control. You may, like me,  have to return to the wellspring often and frequently to remember this and to find the peace that surpasses all understanding, that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.