The lump in my throat grew bigger with each tear that fell from my toddler's eyes that morning. I could feel the depth of his desire as if it were my own. And as his mommy, my desire to fulfill his was just as great. All I was able to do was hold him close and tell him I understood.
As he peered over the half-door into his classroom all he could see on the table was the playdoh. Again. It was the same tired activity he did yesterday. And the day before. Oh...and the day before that. He just couldn't bear to mold that dough into one more sea creature. Summer camp should be so much more!
With his head buried in my shoulder he lamented once more, "I want to build sandcastles."
I've been there. I understand the frustration of wanting something so badly that crying and throwing a fit seems the only logical response to the alternative. I get how tantalizing a glimpse of something other than what I've got can look. Sandcastles always trump playdoh.
As I left my crying toddler in the arms of his teacher, my eyes filled with tears. I wanted so badly to go back and get him and take him to the sandbox to let him build to his heart's content. I'm convinced that God gave me this child to teach me more about discipline in my own life more than his.
After whispering a prayer for him (and me), I heard a tender whisper back to me from the Lord...Sometimes working the playdoh is a skill necessary for building sandcastles.
Whoa! And gulp!!
This took me back to so many times over my life when I have begged and pleaded with God to get me out of a situation, circumstance or season. So many times I have bawled my eyes out as I told myself and Him I just couldn't take one more minute of this. I'm so thankful He just held me close and told me He understood; that he left me there to work that playdoh. Because now I see that those very situations or circumstances were necessary for the beautiful and carefully crafted sandcastles He has built for me.