- Terri Camp Home school author and mother
- 2002 12 Jan
In all of our lives, there are inevitably moments that we wish we could "rewind." Recently, several incidents in my own life have reminded me that Christs grace is better than any remote control.
A few days ago, I was startled when I witnessed my youngest son strike out in anger at my oldest son while they played together with the train set. As soon as Bryan hit David, you could tell by the expression on Bryans face that he knew he had made a grave mistake. After our usual prayer and consultation, Bryan said to me, "I wish Jesus would rewind to the time right before I hit David." I chuckled and thought to myself that Bryan had been watching too many movies.
Fast forward 24 hours ... The day was not going as planned for me. As I read to the kids, the little ones became louder and more physical than normal, and I grew more and more irritated with every passing paragraph. Finally, the children seemed to get quiet, and I was able to read about three chapters of the book. I was halfway through the fourth when they started fussing at each other again. I tossed the book down (just a bit harder than necessary), declared reading time over, and sent all the kids to their rooms.
For the next forty-five minutes, I heard nothing but bickering among the kids. As I tried to get a simple lunch made, I had to stop every few minutes to have a consultation with a child. It seemed our house was infected with a virus of unknown origin. This virus had the unmistakable symptom of grouchiness and it infected even me.
After taking three times longer than usual to get lunch on the table, I went to settle down at my computer for a bit of writing time while the kids finished up lunch and worked on their usual afternoon assignments.
At this point, I was constantly bombarded with children asking questions, most of which were completely irrelevant to the assignments they had been given. Within a few short minutes, I was sick of hearing my own name.
I tried to calm my nerves, but I could do nothing. Just when I would take a deep breath, once again I would hear from another room, "Moooooooommmmmmm, can you come here?"
I began to count my blessings and thought momentarily that I had too many. Suddenly all the blood rushed to my head, and I let out a scream. It didnt relieve me, it only made me feel extremely embarrassed. Then, to make matters even worse, I told my husband that he was now in charge because I was leaving!
I slammed out the door, got in the car, and began to drive. I contemplated the airport, but I knew that would not help.
Recently, I had been feeling quite depressed for no apparent reason. Seeking a way out of my depression, I opted for a perm. Forty-five minutes of alone-time with the Lord in the car was extremely helpful. In fact, I thought that perhaps I was ready to return home. However, I had driven all this way, I may as well get the perm, I reasoned to myself.
As I sat being tortured in the salon, I thought to myself that, after the childish way I acted at home, I really deserved to have my hair pulled and tugged. It almost comforted me to know I was getting a little bit of what I deserved for my behavior.
I dont often find myself in a depressed mode for very long, so this bout of depression had taken me by surprise. I was also quite upset that I couldnt seem to just pull myself up by my bootstraps and be happy and content. Even though I had spent a good deal of time alone in the car talking to the Lord, I still didnt think I had quite recovered from the yucky feelings.
For some reason, I was convinced that getting a perm would make me feel better and make me look like Julia Roberts. The only problem, of course, is that I am way too short to look like her. And I dont have nearly as many teeth. As the stylist worked on my hair, I glanced into the mirror and noticed that I looked a lot like my mom. It wasnt the look I wanted.
When I arrived home, I was greeted by nine smiling faces all full of forgiveness. All the kids loved my hair. Then Steve casually mentioned that I looked like my mom. Tears welled up in my eyes, I ran up the stairs, and I began to bawl. "I dont want to look like my mom! Shes twenty years older than I am," I cried. "I want to look like Julia Roberts!"
I finally composed myself and returned to the family that seems to manage to love me in spite of myself. As we sat in the living room, I looked at Bryan and said, "Hey Bud, do you think I could rewind today?"
He looked me right in the eye and said, "No. Only Jesus can rewind your day."
He was right. As much as I wanted to forget how badly I had felt and behaved, I was powerless on my own to do anything about it. I needed the redemptive power of Jesus Christ to come to me, redeeming me even though I had been worthless for Him that day.
During her chat one Monday night in January, Barb Shelton said this about redemption. "To redeem is to take something of little or no value (me when Im too frustrated to act rationally) and turn it into something that has great wealth and power, and, in exchange, receive something of great value."
Within moments after praying for Jesus to restore me, I had the great value that I so needed. I had forgiveness and a clean slate! What a gift! His grace was much better than a perm, and He didnt even use the remote to rewind the day.
In addition to devoting herself to her husband and the eight children she home schools, Terri also enjoys writing and speaking to offer encouragement to women in an effervescent, humorous way. Visit her Web site at www.ignitethefire.com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.