Open Dis!

We have a refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom. Which didn’t seem like a big deal.

Until my two-year-old discovered popsicles.

One night before dinner, he wrapped his little fingers around the thick handle and tugged. Hard. But nothing happened. He knew his muscles weren’t strong enough to open the big door, but he’s headstrong enough to keep trying. (He gets that from his momma.)

So he tugged and tugged, yanking at a door that he had neither the strength nor the authority to open, until desperation and hunger were at their angriest. Only then did he turn to me. The lady with the clearance to open ‘er up.

“Popsicle!” he cried, jimmying the handle.

“It’s almost time for dinner,” I said, stirring a pot of boiling noodles. Spaghetti sauce simmered on the stove in front of me. “We can have popsicles tomorrow.”

“NO DINNER! NO MORROW!!!!!!” He turned face-to-face with the freezer and panic consumed his face. His breathing accelerated. Previously held-back tears flooded his flushed cheeks. A popsicle—his happiness—was right on the other side of that door. “POPSIIIIIIIIICLLLLE!!!!!!!!!!”

He thrashed desperately, pounding away at the door as though his life (or the life of his popsicle) depended on his rescue.

“I’m making spaghetti,” I said calmly, hoping my voice could ring louder than his maniacal screaming. “Would you like to help me?”

If he heard me, he didn’t show it. He was too busy banging on the freezer with his tear-soaked, snot-covered fist. “Open dis!”

“No popsicles right now, bud, but you can go play with your firetrucks.”

Spaghetti. Firetrucks. Two of his favorite things in the entire world.

But they weren’t enough.

So I offered him other things he loves.

Books?

“NO!”

Sisters?

“NOOOO!”

My hugs?

“NOOOOO! OPEN DIIIIIIIISSSSS!!!!”

He slinked to the ground, exhausted. Defeated. Letting the tears streak down his little face and pool on the tile.

“Popsicle,” he whimpered, mostly to himself, his face pressed against the unforgiving floor.

His little heart was set on an appetizer. One that would mostly melt down his arm before he could even taste the goodness. One that, unbeknownst to him, would leave him hungry.

All the while, I was right beside him preparing a full-on feast.

One that would nourish and strengthen him. One in which he could get his complete fill. One that would take away that feeling of panic and longing, and replace them with peace and love.

But he couldn’t tear his gaze from the closed door, the one that falsely promised joy and fulfillment.

As I stood there, watching him wallow in self-pity and sorrow, it occurred to me that he gets that from his momma, too.

How many times have I tried to bust down a door, falsely convinced that what lay behind it promised happiness and fulfillment?

Without even asking my Father, I’ve walked right up to locked doors and tugged. Hard. Of course nothing happened. Even then, I knew my muscles weren’t strong enough to open the doors. But that wouldn’t stop me from trying.

So I tugged and tugged, yanking at doors that I had neither the strength nor the authority to open, until desperation and hunger were at their angriest. Only then did I think to turn to my Father. The One with the clearance to open ‘er up.

“Open this!” I commanded, jimmying the handle.

“It’s time for something else,” He said, stirring a pot of…something else. Something I couldn’t get a glimpse of. Something I didn’t know if I could trust.

“NO SOMETHING ELSE!!!!!!” I turned face-to-face with my chosen door as panic clutched me from within, my breathing labored. Previously held-back tears flooded my flushed cheeks. A desire—my happiness—was right on the other side of that door.

I thrashed desperately, pounding away at the door as though my life (or the life of my desire) depended on me to rescue it.

“I have other plans for you. They’ll help you, not hurt you. They’ll give you hope and a future,” He said calmly, hoping His voice could ring louder than my maniacal screaming. “Would you like to help Me?”

If I heard Him, I didn’t show it. I was too busy banging on the door with a tear-soaked, snot-covered fist. “Open this!”

“You can’t have that, but you can go read my Word or play with your children.”

Scripture. My kids. Two of the most important things in the world to me.

But they weren’t enough.

So He offered me other things I love.

Food?

“NO!”

A bed to sleep in? Breath in your lungs?

“NOOOO!”

My love?

“NOOOOO! OPEN THIIIIIIIISSSSS!!!!”

I slinked to the ground, exhausted. Defeated. Letting the tears streak down my little face, whimpering to myself, curled up on the floor, my face buried in my own wet, matted hair.

My little heart was set on an appetizer. One that would mostly evaporate before I could taste the goodness. One that, unbeknownst to me, would leave me hungry.

All the while, God was right beside me preparing a full-on feast.

One that would nourish and strengthen me. One in which I could get my complete fill. One that would take away that feeling of panic and longing, and replace them with peace and love.

It wasn’t until I tore my gaze from the closed door—the one that falsely promised joy and fulfillment—that I realized the Source of true joy and fulfillment was on this side of the door with me. He was within arm’s reach, not locked behind some sealed door.

I already had everything I needed. Everything I wanted.

All at once, my prayer changed.

“Close that door,” I pleaded. “Open me.

2 Comments on “Open Dis!

  1. I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying. Wow, I know I rarely comment on your posts but holy cow do they resonate with me. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian!!! Thanks so much for such a kind, uplifting comment. Your support (and the support of our #writefightgifclub peeps) is absolutely invaluable to me! So glad you liked this post!

    Like

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