My kids, especially my 4-almost-5-year-old, have been begging for days to bring their trikes and scooters to a park. It’s been so hot lately that I keep saying no, since I’m now 36 weeks pregnant and the A/C in our van isn’t working consistently. In fact, it seems to only work about 5% or less of the times I try to use it. But this morning, it was a tad cooler than it has been lately, so I finally said yes. I was amazed that the A/C actually worked on the way to the park! The temperature wasn’t even necessarily hot enough to justify using A/C, but I was so thrilled it was working, I left it on for the entire 10-minute ride to the park.
I found a picnic bench in the shade and plopped down with my current read (Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson), and pretty much let the kids roam free. They watched ducks, chased dragonflies, rode their trikes and scooters, ran around, and generally made merry. It made me happy and thankful and content to see my three beautiful, healthy children excitedly exploring nature on a perfect, sunshiny, blue-sky day. I was glad we had come.
When it was time to leave, the kids were worn out and thirsty, and the temperature had been steadily creeping up. I knew that there was no way that the van A/C would work–again!–two times in a row!–but miraculously, it did. It seemed like a gift from God, a little reminder that He sees and He cares and He loves to bless me, even though I don’t deserve it.
Once I asked one of my favorite Bible college professors how we can tell when a good thing is just a coincidence or when it’s actually God purposely doing something nice for us, and he replied, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” I feel like that verse applies in my situation today. I don’t pray as often as I should; I didn’t pray specifically that the air conditioning would work today, or that the kids and I would have a lovely time at the park, and yet, God gave those things to us. Even when I’m crabby and apathetic and fearful, His kindness leads me to repentance and awe.