It had been a terrible week, one where I just wanted to go to sleep and have time fast forward. We were going through a very difficult time as a family and as each day brought more pain, hurt and trouble, I actually felt hopeless for the first time in my life.
I needed to feel better, so after the grocery store, I decided to stop at our favorite, hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant and get us a delicious dinner. This made me happy and gave me something to look forward to. As I drove home, my car filled with enticing aroma and my excitement grew. My husband and daughter were going to be so excited and, for tonight at least, we were going to be happy.
I got out of the car, grabbing the bags of food, and then it happened. The Won-Ton Soup container, which had leaked and unbeknownst to me, soaked through the bottom of the paper bag. The plastic container fell through it and hit the driveway sending the won tons downstream in all their brothy glory. I watched helplessly as they seemed to fall in slow motion.
There I was, holding what was left of the one bag, but I couldn’t hold myself back anymore. I lost it. I literally sat down on the driveway and cried. I cried over these spilled won tons. They were representations of my hope and now there was no hope anymore . . . or so I thought.
My daughter, who decided to help me with the groceries, came outside and saw me crying in the driveway. She asked me what was wrong. I told her I had spilled the Won Ton Soup. Her look of concern quickly vanished as she proceeded to laugh hysterically and ask me a question which would be engraved in future conversations:
“Are you seriously crying over spilled won tons?”
When I realized the ridiculousness over the answer to that question being, “yes”, I joined in the laughter.
The truth was, though, I was crying because I had hit my breaking point. This simple thing, this accident, was magnified because of one thing: hopelessness.
It took me crying in the driveway, and the ensuing laughter, to lead me back to hope. That moment, when I was at my weakest, I remembered these words:
3 But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. 4 And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. 5 And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy,because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us![ Romans 5:3-5 The Passion Translation
Perhaps you have had something similar happen to you especially right now during this difficult season.
What are the won tons you are crying over?
What I learned that day is God even cares about those “won tons”. It may be the smallest of things, but if it’s important to us, it’s important to Him.
So, cry out in your driveway, or where ever you may be. Cry out and seek the Living Hope.