The Day I Threw a Tantrum
Oct 31st 2018 will be tattooed into my brain as the day I threw a tantrum! Oops! Did I shock you? I’m sorry. I really am. I didn’t mean to throw a tantrum. But life happened. And well … I happened too. Let me start at the very beginning for as you know, it’s a very good place to start.
I was looking forward to my birthday. And let me assure you--I don’t often seek big celebrations. What I really like to do is to spend a quiet day at home, connecting with the many wonderful people in my life. My phone rings nonstop and Facebook bursts with good wishes. My email in box is full and my mobile keeps beeping text messages. It’s a joyful 24 hours where I am reminded of God’s amazing creations not only in nature's grandeur but even more in the unique people who inhabit our world. And by the way, that includes YOU who are reading this blog too—I hope you know that? Thank you for being here.
November weather in Adelaide is usually mild and cool, so I was shocked to discover that the weather outlook for Nov 1st was 37 degrees! Thirty Seven degrees? What? That could not be! It was! Every other day that week and the one after promised perfect weather, but for some reason Nov 1st was different. I was deeply disappointed so I sought God about it. He is a gracious Father and He knows how much I dislike the heat and that my body struggles to survive in it. But … it seemed like he had made up His mind to give me a sizzling hot day.
As if that wasn’t enough, my Internet began to play up, disconnecting from time to time all week long. And the day before D day was the grand finale. With a cruel jeer at my expense, it died on me. Just like that. No Internet! And tomorrow was my b’day. I promptly dialled the help-desk, spending hours on the phone with our Internet provider. I tried to be patient, as they shoved me from one support person to another. The end result? They could not help.
A technician would come two days later and that was that. What? "But TOMORROW is my birthday", I said. "I need the Internet TOMORROW!" A lady on the other end of the phone-line added insult to injury through her platitudes and her indifference. I blew up. Yes, I threw a tantrum. I told her in no uncertain terms that I was very annoyed. I said that I was not happy with their service. My voice sounded loud and angry. I didn’t even say goodbye before I put the receiver down.
Afterwards … I knew I had blown it. I hadn’t acted Christlike under duress. “I’m so sorry Lord” I whispered. Too late. This little pressure cooker had erupted and its irate contents were scattered over that help desk far away. Call me selfish if you like. I was selfish. After all, that lady was only doing her job even if her customer skills were a bit wanting. My feathers had been ruffled and I had behaved badly. Not a good way to end my old year.
The 1st of November dawned warm and grey like the weather forecast had predicted. No last minute change of heart on God’s part. But … our house was cool. Hooray! The air conditioner had done its magic through the night so I didn’t even need to have it on. Even more surprising, God had fixed the Internet for me. Wow! A miracle, no less! The technician who turned up the next day told me that there was old wiring and he replaced all of it. So yes, it was a miracle. I enjoyed a perfect birthday and was showered with good wishes all day. The connection remained as firm as a house built on the Rock.
Wow God! Wow!
It was clear that my tantrums had been unnecessary! I felt as ashamed as a puppy who was tucking into his master’s dinner and was caught in the very act. But it was a great way to start a new year—eating humble pie. I do know that God always has my best interests at heart. I do know that He can be wholly trusted. And I’ve had plenty of evidence over the years to prove it. Sad to say, I don’t always live like I believed those truths. So today … my tail is tucked between my legs as I make my confession.
I am penitent for having let God down—I was a bad witness to Him and His love. I am a long way from the holiness I desire. But I am wiser. At the ripe old age of 61, I know that I’m still a work in progress. Alas, it’s when the chips are down that my real nature comes to the fore. And then, I saw again firsthand that seeming obstacles are never a problem to the great God of the Universe. He often tests me and refines me, only asking that I have faith in Him. Because it’s when earth’s provisions are limited that His manifold power can be displayed.
If only I had trusted Him! But you know …through His mercy and grace, I re-discover how great He is and how unworthy I am; how incredibly loving His forgiving heart and how much I need Him. So I stand corrected. And yet … deeply loved. God gave me far more than I deserved that day—as He does all year long. I had a wonderful birthday filled with the love of family and friends.
The day I threw a tantrum made me humbler and wiser, sadder but more grateful, in awe of Him who does all things well. The day I threw a tantrum made me more patient with others’ foibles and more dependent on His grace. The day I threw a tantrum I discovered that His love covers all my sins and that He will always come through for me, even when I fail Him.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us
according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:8
If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 1 Tim 2:13
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13