LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
"Pride goeth before a fall" was startlingly true for me last Saturday.
I was feeling pretty good about my role as a grandmother. I had survived our 14th Cousins Camp, keeping 11 grandchildren alive for a week. I mailed a misplaced bathing suit home to one camper who lives in another state. I showed up at the Princess Theatre, flowers and treats in hand, for the opening performance of "Mary Poppins" in which 4 of our grands had supporting roles, cheering and applauding enthusiastically. I thought I was doing a passable job of maintaining a good relationship with FIFTEEN grands . . . . until Saturday afternoon when I realized I had forgotten the birthday of a certain, blonde-haired two-year-old named Beatrix Agnes June.
Look at this cherub's face. How could I have missed her special day?
I could make a ton of excuses. She's the 9th of 10 children in her family, for heaven's sakes. Even her momma looked at the calendar on July 10th and said, "Oh! Happy birthday, Bea!"
When I confessed my mistake, Julie quickly assured me that at age 2, Bea had no preconceived ideas about how her birthday was supposed to be celebrated, but she went on to suggest that I get my act together before she turns 3. :) Believe me. Her birthday will be one of the first things I mark on my 2022 calendar.
Steve and I showed up, gifts and cupcakes in hand, two days later and hopefully gave her lots of attention. She didn't appear to hold a grudge and enjoyed her pink cupcake. She immediately responded to her stuffed Olaf, and her momma appreciated the new clothes. Bless her sweet heart. When I see the constant 3-ring circus surrounding her on a daily basis, I have to wonder what is going through her precious mind.
Bea and her birthday got lost in the shuffle last weekend. THIS time she was oblivious, from all we could tell, but in years to come, she will crave at least a fair share of attention, love, and "being noticed."
Have you ever felt unnoticed? Lost in the chaos of the world swirling around you? Have you ever craved the attention no one appeared willing to give? Me, too.
All of this brought to my mind several places in Scripture where we are assured that God sees us. He notices us. No matter where we might be, He's there and is completely aware of our circumstances.
One example is found in Genesis 16 where we read the story of Hagar, maidservant of Sarai, wife of Abram. Sarai gets impatient when she can't get pregnant and gives Hagar to Abram in order to have a child through her. Hagar does get pregnant, then Sarai's jealousy leads her to mistreat Hagar, and Hagar runs away. She is utterly alone, but God sends His angel to give her a message. Hagar's response is found in verse 13 -- She gave this name to the Lord (El Roi) who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Then we have those powerful verses at the end of Romans chapter 8: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
God has never forgotten my birthday nor yours. His created universe is orderly, not a shuffled mess. He's never too busy or overloaded. He sees us and loves us. Hallelujah!