This past week, I have been held hostage in my house by two very sweet, sick children. It has been one of the longest weeks of my life. They both have suffered from very high(103.3) fevers, cough,croup and congestion. It has been one of those weeks. On the positive side, my laundry is all caught up, the house is sparkly clean, the garage is reorganized! When you can't leave your house, its amazing how much can get done.
So, as I was cleaning out the garage I found this little bell that was in a box I was going through. It was intact and if you pushed on the middle black button, it lets out a ding, ding, ding. I took that bell into my bedroom, where my kids were camped out during the day. I told them, now instead of screaming for mommy when you need me (their voices were scratched up from coughing so hard) just ring this bell and I will come in to see what you need. Big mistake.You know where this is going, right?
Every second I hear a ding, ding, ding, I go into the room. "what do you need", Regan "I need my cup with water mommy.", "Okay, Nolan do you need anything while I am here?" "No, mommy I am fine.", I go get water for Regan filling the cup only half way so it won't be spilled in my bed, smiling to myself that this is going to work out just fine.
I walk into the room, and hand her the water. Leave room. Sit down to work on my computer. Ding, ding, ding. I go into the room. Nolan,"Mommy I need my cup with water now.", "Why didn't you ask me when I was getting your sister water?" Nolan, "Because I wanted to ring the bell." I go and proceed to get him waterin the same fashion as Regan,I half way fill his cup too. This goes on all day, I hear ding, ding, ding and if my response isn't fast enough, it would only get louder, Louder and LOUDER!
They never wanted anything at the same time, and they relished in the idea that I was at their beck and call for all their needs, regardless how small. These sweet, little children who were deathly sick were about to get it from me. I was trying to be patient, and kind, and compassionate, but they were really pushing me to my limits. The endless summons, the needs, and wants, the questions, the whining, were all driving me crazy. I finally took the bell from them and hid it. I told them I didn't know what happened to it when they asked. I realized my sweet, little, sick babies were taking advantage of me and they liked the power of that bell! I on the other hand was exhausted trying to keep cups full, tummies rubbed and channels changed (yes, they would call me in to change the TV channel!)
This of course got me thinking, about my own bell. The one I ding, ding, ding, daily when I call on my heavenly father. Constantly ringing it, asking for something, and then later ringing it again to ask for more. I realize that God gives each of us our very own bell to ring whenever we choose, how ever many times we need to ring it. He wants us to ring it, he waits for us to ring it, he welcomes the sound!
Then, unlike me, he does not get frustrated with the small, some times, insignificant request I make, he does not get aggravated with my needs, he does not get irritated with me or lose his temper. He does not wonder."What now?", "You again?", no, my God is more patient, more compassionate, and more generous than me.He hears every request made, not just mine, but all his children. I am so blessed that he would never take my bell and hide it, but that he always leaves it within reach, it is always available to me.
At times in my life I have chosen to not ring my bell, I have been careless with it, lost it,or misplaced it. At times, I have taken advantage of my bell, and dinged it for every thing, wanting my needs met instantly (like Regan and Nolan this week), and at times, I have thrown that bell against the wall and left it behind. Only to go desperately searching for it later.
Not this time, this time I am going to keep this bell that I found out in my garage in plain view, not for the kids to abuse, but to remind all of us that whenever we need to, we can ring our God given bell and cry out to him, with all our needs, wants, desires, and concerns. Confidently knowing that he will hear the ding, ding, ding, loud and clear. The bell that he has given us is a welcoming, precious sound to his ears. He will faithfully answer whatever we ask, in his perfect time, and he will always be there to fill our cup, not half way so we can't spill it, but all the way to the top.