When our oldest, Maggie, was a toddler my parents had this toy that Maggie called “the scare me up bunny.”
It was essentially a Jack-in-the-box only it was a bunny.
She would bring it to one of us and say “Open da scare-me-up-bunny.” And then she would put her chubby toddler hands over her eyes, peeping through sticky fingers, and wait for the bunny to
“scare her up.”
Maggie had this angel like habit, or that is what my dad called it, of patting her chest over her heart when anything scared or touched her.
Once we saw a homeless man on the side of the road in Venezuela, Maggie’s brown eyes swelled, her lip quivered, and she patted her chest. She couldn’t have been more than two – still her heart ached so much that it needed to be consoled.
One of us would turn the crank on the toy, the music would play… then slow and then… POP! The scare me up bunny would erupt from the box, and Maggie would squeal and then pat her racing heart.
Just recently, I am seeing this as a new metaphor for my God. Although seemingly inaccurate, I have treated Him as such.
As I pack up our home to move back to our ranch, I can’t help but reminisce the last 4 or 5 years. When we left the ranch, we put it on the market, vowing never to return. Too much hurt, too much loss, too much… everything. And there are eight sides to every story, our side just ached for mistakes made, loved ones lost, and general hurt. We packed up our things and drove out the gate stopping only to straighten the FOR SALE sign.
In a box, I placed my God. I told Him to “sell it!” It must be sold for this, this, and this to be in order. He never sold it. I turned the prayer crank and waited for Him to POP out of the box with what I believed the right answer.
Still, nothing happened.
Well, not nothing. Perhaps this is what I regret most. He did actually peep out of the box, bits and pieces of wholeness occurred.
A camp out at the cabin, a long walk through the mesquites, new successes that hadn’t occurred to us, new family members. And no, the new members don’t replace those lost, but oh, they do bring with them much joy. And heartache.
I don’t want the heartache. But it is a huge part of the journey, the growth. And the crank turns. I waited for the grand finale, for God to pounce from His confines, where I kept Him. From inside the box, He listened to me yammer on and on about what I needed Him to do. And while I thought He was ignoring me, He would POP out with something that wasn’t on my radar. Still, I counted the surprises as a missed gear, not the actual scare me up event I was waiting for. I would push Him back down, close the lid and turn the crank some more.
I knew what was supposed to happen. I knew what I was praying. I knew the surprise would be a phone call from the real estate agent with news of our sale.
I would be surprised. My heart would race, but I knew it was coming. I just need to turn the crank a few more times…
The music would slow, a call from a potential buyer, and positive showing. Still no sale. No POP!
And it isn’t like He leads around by our nose. I see Him in the fancy box. I have it neatly decorated and I keep Him in the confines of how I need Him. And then He, being who He is, cannot be contained.
He moves how He moves… and He saves how He saves. The tension builds. I cover my eyes, peeking through my sticky fingers.
Prince of Peace.
King of Restoration.
God of Isreal.
Keeper of the box.
This time around, the surprise is not what I expected. The shock still has me reeling. My heart still races at the unknown, still… known. Still. He moves how He moves, He saves how He saves. I am most grateful for this. I don’t always get what I want, or expect. No matter how I sequester Him to the box that is my fanciful brain, He is greater than that which I fashion.
Grander than what I ask for and more elaborately ingenious than what the box can comprise.
Gets me every single time.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Job 22:21 (NLT) “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.”
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