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Which Shoe Goes on Which Foot?

If you’re struggling with something in your life today, God’s got you covered. 

Buckling on the right shoe.

Just as we were rushing out the door on one of those marathon mornings, I realized that Allyson was still carrying around her pink sparkly tennis shoes.

“Why aren’t your shoes on your feet?” I asked.

“Because,” she whined, “you didn’t tell me.”

“Didn’t tell you what?” I asked, bending down to help her with her shoes.

“You didn’t tell me which shoe goes on which foot!” she said, tears in her eyes.

“Oh,” I said. “Well, remember what Daddy taught you? You match the curve of the shoe with the curve of your foot. That’s how you tell which shoe goes on which foot.”

She nodded as if she understood. I felt we’d made some sort of breakthrough, although the girls were sure to be counted tardy that morning.

Ally eating ice cream as a little girlAfter school, I decided to do something special to make up for such a crummy start to their day. As they loaded into our SUV, I said in my most excited mom voice, “Do you girls want to go to McDonald’s Playland for dinner?”

Cheers rang out from the ranks. The idea was a hit, so we headed that way.

After wolfing down their Happy Meals, the girls slipped off their shoes, ran to the playland area, and disappeared inside the brightly-colored tunnels.

I finished my cheeseburger and read the newspaper to catch up on what was going on in the world beyond elementary school and Cartoon Network. Glancing down at my cell phone for a time check, I was surprised how long we’d been there.

“ABBY and ALLYSON!!” I called to the little faces looking at me from a window in one of the tunnels. “C’mon, we’ve got to get home.”

Down they came. First Abby, then Allyson.

Abby quickly slipped on her sandals while Allyson studied her shoes for several minutes. First she’d take a shoe and hold it up next to her foot, checking the curves to see if they matched.

Then, she’d take the other shoe and do the same. (I acted like I was still reading the newspaper so I wouldn’t add any extra pressure to her decision-making process.)

Finally, in total frustration, Allyson asked, “Which one goes on which foot?”

“Which shoe do you think goes on which foot?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I just can’t tell.”

“Did you match the curves?”

“Yes, and it didn’t help.”

“Keep trying,” I coached. “You can do it.”

But, Allyson was over it. She picked up her shoes and said, “I’ll just carry them.”

“Nah, I’ll help you,” I comforted, putting her right shoe on first, and then her left. “You’ll get it eventually, babe.”

I sighed a big sigh, realizing we hadn’t experienced the monumental breakthrough that morning that I thought we had.

Later that night, with homework and baths completed, the girls slipped on their PJs and piled onto our bed, awaiting Daddy’s bedtime story and prayer time.  

“G’night, Mommy,” Abby said, before heading down the hallway to her room.

“Night, Sweetie.”

“’night, Mommy. Love you,” Allyson said, giving me a hug and a kiss.

As I gave her a hug in return, I glanced down at her bunny slippers. Their ears were pointing the wrong way, meaning just one thing, Allyson hadn’t yet figured out which one went on which foot.         

I didn’t say a word, I just smiled and hugged her even more.

You know, we’re a lot like that as we grow up in the Lord. There are many days when I can’t figure out “which shoe goes on which foot” in so many areas of my life.

I’ll look at the situation, and like Allyson, I’ll try and match it with the right solution. Sometimes I’ll study that situation for hours, days, weeks, and even months. Finally, in frustration, I’ll abandon the problem like Allyson did, and pick up my shoes and carry them.

I wonder how many times I’ve gone boldly into the throne room with the ears on my bunny slippers pointing the wrong direction, and how many times God has just smiled and hugged me anyway.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that God loves us in spite of our shortcomings? Even if we have to repeatedly ask for his help and cry out, “Father, which one goes on which foot?” he will continue to teach us with great patience, love, and understanding.

So, if you’re struggling with something in your life today, and you just can’t figure out “which one goes on which foot,” God’s got you covered.

Even if you’re in such a mess that you can’t even find your bunny slippers, don’t worry. No problem, no situation, no challenge is too big for our God. He loves you and he wants to help.

Just ask him. 

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