Closer Than You Think

Troy and I just got back from a pastor’s conference in Arizona. Glad I am not going to hell. It felt like I was close at 115 degrees. Ok but that is not the story!

On the way back on the plane we sat down in our seats and a screaming toddler was on the isle beside us. When the captain came on and announced that the plane had two flat tires, well panic set in. How in the world was I going to survive a 5 hour flight with a screaming toddler! We had not even left the tarmac and already I was frazzled. We were already delayed by 40 minutes and we had gone nowhere! It was a nightmare! This otherwise cute little toddler was screaming her head off and people all around the plane were starting to get annoyed. I was included in that. Surely there had to be an answer short of stuffing a sock in the little girls mouth to keep her quiet. I don’t think social services would like that too much but the thought did cross my mind after the brutality of the incident increased with time, lots of time. (Oh don’t act like a sock would not cross your mind either! Desperate times call for desperate measures!)

Anyway my husband finally looks at me and sees a whole bag of goodies I had packed. I had all sorts of “healthy” junk food items from Trader Joes. My snackies were the only thing giving me solace in the midst of the ear-piercing screaming. Even the flight attendants could do nothing. So Troy looks at me and says, “Give her the cookies!” I quickly responded with, “If it were that easy her mother would have thought of it much sooner! A bag of cookies won’t fix that kid!”

I leaned forward, took a deep breath and said in my cutest toddler voice, “Jackie, want a cookie?” Just then silence! There was not a sound. Jackie then replied with, “Want cookie!” You mean the kid can do something besides scream? Yes she can!

What? You mean I had been holding on to that bag of cookies the whole time and the solution was right within my grasp? How could that even be? A little bag of cookies could make a whole plane cheer? A little bag of cookies could make all of our headaches go away? A little bag of cookies could bring peace? Oh and when I say bag, I mean bag. Jackie soon said, “Want more cookie!” How many of you know that Jackie was gonna get more cookie! Jackie can have the whole bag of cookies if Jackie, well, STOPS CRYING!!

Jackie did great the rest of the flight and I felt like an unsung hero! I have never been so glad for a bag of cookies in my life. It did make me think of this though. How many of us when we are believing for an answer to our problems, whatever they might be, think the answer is so far away? The answer is always closer than you think. Even though we might not immediately feel like there is hope in our situation, miraculously the answer comes. We really do try to complicate things sometimes when the bible declares that God has it all under control and has our hairs numbered. No matter what it is we are believing for, we serve a God who is not only able but who is wanting to be there for us. He is close by and never far away.

I just wanted you to know that the answer to your situation is as close as a bag of cookies!

This is a picture of Jackie AFTER the bag of cookies.


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~ by pennymaxwell on June 28, 2010.

2 Responses to “Closer Than You Think”

  1. Great story Penny! So very true that we think through things so much that we often miss the solution sitting right in front of us! And how wise of PT to suggest you give up the cookies 😉

  2. And just as beautiful as Happy Jackie are Happy Mommy and Sleeping Infant! 😀 It just goes to show: effective ministry sometimes requires more than words.

    Well done, pastors! Way to represent!

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