Father Knows Best
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Have you ever volunteered to work in a nursery or preschool and noticed that toddlers never thank teachers for taking something away from them? When was the last time you heard a child say, "Hey, thanks, Teacher . . . it was about time I shared that Tonka Truck with somebody else." Or, "Thanks a lot for taking those Cheerios away from me . . . seems like I haven't been able to go anywhere without 'em lately!"
Hardly—it's the other way around, isn't it? Most times kids have a fit because they want more of something, not less.
I remember going to the grocery store one day to grab some fruit and vitamin-enhanced bottled water. Okay—I picked up a bag of chips and some donuts as well . . . my doctor said I needed a balanced diet!
While I was busy scouring the aisles, I noticed a mother who seemed rather worn. I quickly realized why. Her daughter [who looked to be about two years old] was standing up in the back of the grocery cart crying at the top of her lungs. This little red-haired girl was having a meltdown right there on Aisle 6.
What a sight! All blotchy-faced with tears streaming down her cheeks, she was standing on her tiptoes, her knuckles white as she held onto the side of the cart.
She was mad! In fact, if she had been bigger we would have all been in danger!
Despite the exhausting tantrum, I still remember her mother calmly saying over and over again, "No, you can't have that . . . no, you can't have that either . . . no . . . no . . . no."
The little girl was too young to realize that her mother was actually protecting her. Pesticides, pills, and bottles of cleaning fluid aren't good packages to put in your mouth. But tell that to a two-year-old.
As I thought back on that experience and the pity that I felt for the young, patient mother, I began to realize how often we as Christians are like that little girl.
We might not always throw a fit—at least not externally—but how often do we reach for a relationship or a job or a dream and get frustrated with God when He says, "No . . . no . . . no."
The truth is we're a lot more like that two-year-old on Aisle 6 than we'd like to admit. She saw things she wanted but didn't realize they were things she didn't need. All she knew was that big bottle of Windex looked like Kool-Aid but her mom wasn't letting her have a drink. And she was thirsty, for goodness' sake!
I wonder how many times our Father in heaven patiently listens to us fuss and fume, knowing we'll never come back to thank Him for saving us from something harmful.
How often do we go back to our Savior later in life and say, "Lord, thanks so much for protecting me from those things I wanted but certainly didn't need." Or "I was thirsty and thought that stuff would quench my thirst, but You knew better . . . so, thank You."
Are you having an internal tug-of-war with God right now over some object of your affection? Has He kept something just out of reach that you're convinced would be good for you? Has He refused to give you something you want—something, or someone, you'd rather not be without?
No matter what you might be going through, take time today to thank God for always being a loving Father—the Parent who has promised to provide for you what is good and best, even when it doesn't feel like it.
He loves you . . . and truly is the Father who knows best!
Prayer Point: Instead of fussing and fuming with the Lord today over some unrealized desire, quiet your heart in confidence as you thank Him for being the Perfect Parent—for withholding harmful and destructive things while offering good and perfect gifts that He knows will satisfy and sustain you.
Extra Refreshment: James 1.
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