The other day, I had a tough day….no week. Work was particularly demanding, home was chaotic, and my body was beyond tired. You know what I mean? In my family culture, I handle 98% of the household duties and work a full-time job. Sometimes, the walls just begin to cave in, ya know?
Well, on this particular day, I’d finally finished work for the day and was in a mad rush to pick up a few groceries, fetch up my little person from daycare and start dinner.
Well, once we got home, I began unloading the grocery bags. Not soon after I started, I noticed several items were missing. Still in my work clothes, I hurried downstairs to the garage to see what I had left in my trunk…but the truck was empty. Then, I darted back upstairs to check if I had overlooked the items.
Nope, they weren’t there. Then it occurred to me; the bagger didn’t give me all my groceries. So, I grabbed my receipt and dialed the store’s number.
“Hello, I was just at your store and the I think I left my gro….”
The person on the other end of the call interrupted me and began calling out my grocery items one-by-one. I was tired, mad and frustrated. I curtly responded “Geeez, I’m on my way.”
The clerk quickly interpreted me and apologized, but that didn’t help.
So, I responded with a rushed “hmmmm-mmmm” and hung up.
I had purchased several frozen items and chicken. I had neither the time or energy to chase through that store to replace those things nor did I want them after they’d been sitting at room temperature for 20 minutes. “No!” I complained to myself, “they better replace my items with fresh ones”.
As we piled into the car, My little guy whined about being hungry. Then, he whined because it was hot. Then, he said “I don’t wanna go back to the store”
With all this, I was getting angrier and angrier at the imposition this store had caused us both. En route, I decided exactly HOW I would complain to a manager and share the inconvenience this careless sacker had caused.
Then I heard that voice in my spirit…you know the One.
The voice of God categorically reminded me of the countless amounts of grace I had exhausted in my lifetime. In my mind’s eye, I was reminded of one of the worst mistakes I had ever made and how God “fixed” them for me.
I thought of the many times I missed the mark and how the Lord made those crooked roads straight for me with His forgiveness and grace. I pondered the countless times “someone” could have complained about me, my mistakes and my failures and still I suffered nothing for them.
Needless to say, by the time I arrived at the store, I was no longer angry. In fact, I wasn’t even irritated, but determined to show the same grace that God has shown to me time and time again.
Remembering my assertion that the store would ‘have’ to re-collect my items, the Holy Spirit told me (made me) go and replace each one of my items myself. I eagerly complied. I did it with joy and gratefulness in my heart because I am blessed to know a God that speaks to me, reprimands me and loves me so much.
At the customer service desk, the assistant manager apologized. My response was “No, problem. When I think of how many times the Lord was patient with my errors…”. She looked confused by my statement, but I got it. I really got it.