My to-do list was growing at rate with which time was not cooperating. Dashing home to grab some items before heading back out, I couldn’t help but notice the growing mound of laundry I had to lunge around while cutting through the utility room. Remembering that my daughter had mentioned she was running low on jeans, I decided to grab a snack and eat in one hand while I shoved a load of darks in the washing tub. As I began to pour the Arm & Hammer Oxi Clean detergent into the designated compartment, I also remembered another to-do item on my list: grocery store. I was almost out of detergent.

Just the tiniest stream of cleaner came out of the bright yellow container. A very, very slow stream.

Now, any other day I would have thrown the jug away, my impatience taking over. But today I had two things going against me: 1) my daughter needed jeans and 2) I was not going to have time to make it to the grocery store before tomorrow. So, I stood there (long after my snack was gone) and watched, and watched, and watched as the compartment, to my surprise, eventually filled to max capacity. For some reason, I was genuinely delighted to see the success of the bright yellow container — I felt as if we had stuck it out together. “Atta boy!” I said as I closed the lid of the machine and let the cycle begin.

As I was finishing up the day, I kept thinking about the lengthy wait for the washing compartment to fill. God reminded me of the many times the Holy Spirit has convicted me of my impatience and lack of trust; the many times I have tried to skip ahead of God’s plans, focusing more on my list of concerns and actions (even if they were good efforts). In looking at the tiniest stream of detergent, I was reminded that God oftentimes builds our trust by growing our dependency. Sometimes God’s plans take much longer than what we would prefer (and they often involve suffering), but the result is cleanliness, righteousness, and an undying love-centered relationship with Christ Jesus that fits more securely than anything this world offers.

May we remember to not get ahead of God. He needs to not just be put on our to-do list; rather, God needs to be at the center of our to-do living. When we don’t invite God to control our entire lives, we won’t see God working in all aspects of our lives. And when we don’t leave room for God, we often miss unexpected blessings because we are too busy convincing ourselves we have no time to veer from our list.

As I was folding the stack of freshly dried jeans, I was reminded that even the tiniest streams of detergent will eventually wash the heaviest loads.

Are you asking God to bless your list or are you asking God to take control of your life?

May we never underestimate the power of persevering faith. And may we never underestimate God’s supreme abilities.

Psalm 51:1-2 says, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

SGLY, dear readers.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian writer and an opinion columnist. To submit feedback on SGLY or to offer a specific topic idea, please contact Chartier at news@ amtrib. com. Follow Chartier on Face - book: facebook. com/ tiffanychartier and Twitter: @tiffany chartier