Lyla and I were at the dining room table yesterday working on some craft projects with felt and a sewing needle when Maci, only two years old, climbed up onto the chair and saw a picture of a pair of scissors on the directions. “Scissors!” she said, and promptly got back down from the chair, went into the kitchen drawer, and returned with a pair of scissors in her little hands. “No, no, honey! Those will give you a big OW!!!” I took them from her, and she then proceeded to absolutely sob an absolutely heart-breaking, hard-to-catch-her-breath sob. She was not happy with Gummy! She wanted those scissors, and I was the person who took them from her.
We did include her in the craft project, but we protected her from picking up the scissors again, and it didn’t take long before she was climbing back up into my lap and giving me kisses and hugs.
A little while later while my daughter-in-law was making dinner, when Maci managed to sneak a sharp knife from the kitchen counter, and return to the table where the craft making was still going on. Holly caught her, came over, and took the knife from her hand. Another, “No, no honey,” was followed by one more heart-breaking sob. But now my daughter-in-law took away what Maci wanted, and she was the villain, not me.
If we gave in to every demand of our children, (or in my case, grandchildren), they would have Halloween candy for breakfast, M&M’s for a snack, fast food for lunch doused in ketchup and ranch dressing, and a half gallon of ice cream for dinner, with a jar of sprinkles and hot fudge on top, resulting in a night of GI disturbances that I wish not to list in this blog.
But – what a lesson! I mean – what if we let Maci have the scissors? She’s obsessed with her hair, so best case scenario is she may have given herself a new pixie doo. And what about the knife? She could have gotten hurt bad enough to go to the hospital emergently. It could have ended bad if she fell off the chair holding a knife. I hate even thinking about the possibilities. And the consequences of feeding garbage to our littles… I don’t need to tell ya. You all know, because nobody is careless enough to feed that slop to their children.
So, why is it that we think we can be like toddlers, and demand things from God, who by the way is a WAY better parent than we are?! Why do people claim they can “speak things into existence” demanding the outcomes they wish – healing from cancer, only good results from diagnostic medical tests and procedures, and nothing less than a perfectly healthy new baby,” and the list goes on. And on. And on.
Job 2:10 says, “But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this, Job did not sin with his lips.”
When I think back to even just a few of the prayers I’ve prayed, and the things I’ve begged God for, I am so grateful that He did answer them. I remember as clear as if it were yesterday, being in the middle of giving birth to my daughter knowing that she would die, staring at an object on the nightstand beside me, and begging Him to please let me die too. I also remember telling God that I wanted more than anything to marry my high school boyfriend, and, as my Dad used to say – “holy cats!” So glad He didn’t answer THAT prayer!
God doesn’t long for us to come to Him with a lengthy Christmas wish list of expectations or demands. He wants us to come to Him in the say way you would like for your child to come to you – bringing you their heartaches, their struggles, their successes, and even their longings, trusting you to walk through all of those things with them. And while it’s true He wants to give us the desires of our hearts, He also knows the very hearts of our desires, what is best for us, and when it’s best for us. And as much as we hate to hear it, we know it’s true – sometimes, God says NO, just like we often must tell our children when they want ice cream for dinner, or to run around with scissors in their hands.
And as far as “speaking things into existence,” is concerned – look, either God is sovereign, or I am, and I can PROMISE you – it ain’t me OR you, because if I were sovereign and had that kind of power, I wouldn’t struggle with my weight (and neither would you), I’d be a size 7 with washboard abs, have won the lottery more than a few times….. and dare I say… I might have married that high school boyfriend, and that would not have had a good outcome!
God is going to answer our prayers according to His will, and give us only what is best for us and what will glorify Him. That might not look like we want it to, but our ways are not like His ways, and so many things will never make sense this side of eternity, but we have to trust Him even when our prayers don’t feel as if they are being answered like we’d like them to. He knows what’s best for us, and we can trust Him.
And, He often allows us to go through storms and difficult circumstances that will hurt like heck, despite what we’ve asked for in our prayers, because do you know what He wants more than anything else for us? He wants us to look like His Son, and He can’t make us look more like Jesus by feeding us bowls of ice cream while running around with sharp knives. But He also promises to walk right alongside us through those difficult times.
So please don’t believe when you find yourself in less than desirable circumstances, that’s its because you spoke them in the universe. 1) You’re really not that powerful. 2) The universe cannot hear you. (Worship the Creator – not the creation, Romans 1:25)
God created the universe, and knows what’s best for me, and more often than not, what’s best for me is that He not answer my prayers to the precise specifications I’ve requested. He would rather cause me to lean in a whole lot closer to Him while He does NOT take my advice, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
Please, take a moment and thank God that neither of us are sovereign because, I promise – we’d have jacked up every single thing a long, long time ago.
Thank you Lord, for not taking my advice, for telling me NO in the past, and for not letting me live on ice cream sundaes while running with scissors.