I decided to take my 7, 4 and 2-year-olds to the pool at my gym. I filled the car with towels, swim toys and water noodles and prepared myself for an hour of aggressive mommy look-out time. One day I’ll be able to accompany my children to the pool and let them play hog-wild by themselves in the water, but not today. I’m still in preschool stage, and there is no rest for this mom with tots—only a nice feeling of knowing my kids had fun.
After I parked, I got my kids out of the car and handed them each a towel, a swim toy and a water noodle. My oldest son got the green noodle, my middle son got the blue noodle and my little girl got the orange noodle. They looked absolutely adorable walking through the gym with their noodles sticking out of their hands like javelins. I weaved them through the work-out machines and into the pool area. I loved hearing the comments like, “Your kids are so adorable.” I nodded, smiled and thought to myself, “Yes, I know.”
Once I got them to the pool, I took off their clothes and exposed their swimsuits like Superman in the phone booth, and we took to the stairs that led into the pool. The stairs are the only place in the pool that I can carefully monitor all three kids, so that is where we stayed for about an hour.
About halfway through our water-stair-fun, I noticed some other kids playing with a blue noodle. There were no other noodles in the entire pool besides the ones we brought, so I asked my four year old, “Is that your noodle?” He gave his best four year old answer: a shoulder shrug, which means I don’t know. I made a mental note of the blue noodle and determined myself to get it before we left.
Finally when it was time to go, I gathered all the noodles (including the blue one that I fetched when the culprits weren’t looking), and we headed back through the gym. When we got to the car, I opened the rear door and was astonished to see a blue noodle inside. My son had put the noodle back into the car before we left, and I had stolen a little boy’s blue water noodle. When I examined the blue water noodles, I realized that they were totally different. Our noodle was brand-new, and the other one was old and torn. However, the evidence that I had gathered at the pool made it seem obvious to me that the other blue water noodle was mine. I unknowingly ignored all the other minor details.
I felt God tell me, as I humbly returned the boy’s water noodle, that everything is not always as it seems. Our eyes might make an assessment about certain situations, but God sees things that are beyond our comprehension. I believe that many times we force the wrong water noodles into our cars, when God already has a brand-new water noodle waiting for us. I’m learning that I need to stop trying to understand and control everything; I need to humble myself; and I need wait patiently for God to reveal His blessings.
Have you ever tried to take off with someone else’s water noodle? Did you find that God had already planted a brand-new blessing in your future?
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8.25 NLT).