by Kim Hamm
The month of April came and went like a whirlwind. It came in and turned our house upside down. After ten years, it was time to do some home repairs and remodeling. Everything we owned was moved out of the house and stored in the basement and garage so that the work could get done without interruptions. Needless to say, five people living in the basement for three weeks can cause quite a few stressful moments! There were many “spilled milkshake” days.
Let me explain. It had already been a very stressful weekend. Let’s face it. Getting ready for church on a normal Sunday can be a challenge but when all the clothes that your entire family own are dumped in the basement, it can be downright scary. Our new living arrangement started off nice and orderly. All of the clothes were stacked in neat piles and everyone had their own area to keep all their “stuff” organized as much as possible. The problem was that after three weeks of stacking everything neatly and living out of storage bags and bins, all the mountains of clothes started falling. Everything became a huge mess. So, to get the week started off right, after school on Monday, I decided to go through Jack’s drive through and get Kayla and myself a delicious milkshake.
We were having a great time talking, singing to the radio, and enjoying our milkshakes when it happened. As I turned onto our street, Kayla’s milkshake spilled … no, exploded everywhere! One moment I can see beautiful blue skies. The next moment all I can see is milkshake running everywhere. It was dripping down the front of my windshield and onto my dashboard. It was running down my face from the top of my head. I couldn’t see so I immediately turned on my wipers which did nothing to help the situation because, obviously, the milkshake was on the inside, but who can think logically when a milkshake has exploded all over the inside of your car … not me! We had no napkins (I can never remember to ask for them when I need them) so I started grabbing jackets from the backseat to throw on my dashboard to absorb the gooey, sticky mess. I pulled into a driveway and sat there with milkshake in my hair and all over the car. Kayla and I just stared at each in shock and disbelief.
I would like to say that I remained calm and cool at that moment, but I would be lying. I let out a scream, more out of shock than anger. I could just imagine my car smelling like sour milk all summer long. As I looked at Kayla, I only said two words … “How?” and “Why?” I wasn’t really expecting her to give me an answer because how can you explain an unexplainable accident. She just shrugged her shoulders in confusion as milkshake dripped off our hair and faces. Later, as I was cleaning up the milkshake mess, it hit me.
The entire month of April we had been living in a messy state of total disorder and displacement. All of our family routines were halted and our lives were thrown into chaos, mess, disorder and stress. It was just like the messy milkshake that had been thrown all over my car. I realized that life is exactly like that milkshake explosion – messy, unexpected, surprising, stressful, exciting, and chaotic. When you are in the middle of a terribly difficult situation, you can’t see the end results. That’s when you have to let out a scream of frustration (at least I did) and then put your car back in drive and just keep going forward.
Whatever situation you may be dealing with this week, this month, this year, be encouraged that this challenging season will not last forever. You may not know the outcome today, but you can rest assured that God can use any messy, frustrating situation to grow and mature us. Today, as Kayla and I look back on our messy Monday milkshake madness, we can both laugh. Why now and not in the moment of the madness … because God has a way of changing our perspective on the other side of the mess! Don’t give up when you are sitting in the driver’s seat, but you can’t see where you are going. Just let go and let God take control while you wipe the milkshake from your eyes.
Psalm 37:23-24, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”