Focal Passage: Isaiah 12:1-6
She was “pretty sure” she left it on the counter in the dressing room.
“Pretty sure?” I asked.
“Well kinda pretty sure,” my nine-year-old daughter responded.
We had finished a show of The Nutcracker that she and I both were in and she had taken her latest handheld video game to play during the “down time.” Knowing how much that game console cost, I wanted to make sure we got it back. We had turned around after only a few minutes on our way home from the theater, and when we got back, the stage doors were still open. She ran in, and I waited. And waited . . . and waited. The longer I sat the more I was sure we weren’t going to find the video game on the dressing room counter no matter how “pretty sure” we were we had left it there.
Sure enough in a few moments more, my daughter walked out, tears in her eyes and said that she couldn’t find it. I did my daddy-best to console her, but I wanted her to learn a lesson at the same time. I took her for an ice cream and we sat and talked about responsibility, consequences, and how she might earn enough to replace the now lost game system. As we left the ice cream shop, my daughter turned and said, “Daddy, even if you are disappointed in me, I still love you. Thank you, Daddy, for helping me through this.”
Of course I melted, but that isn’t the point. In Isaiah 12, the prophet speaks of praising God because even though God was angry, He turns it away to comfort His children. We are to praise God at all times. We will, inevitably, disappoint Him. It is our condition as humans. But even in that forgiveness needing state, we must praise.
The next night, one of Grace’s friends and fellow performers came running up to her as we approached the theater. Seems she had mistakenly picked up Grace’s game, and was delighted to return it. Grace’s eyes filled up with tears, and she was as relieved as I have ever seen her. But she came to me and said, “Daddy, I am glad we found it, I really am. But thanks for letting me know things would be OK if we didn’t.”
Isaiah says that the “Holy One of Israel” who is in our midst is great. He is, and it will be OK. But we should offer Him praise even when our feeble minds can’t figure out how it will be.