Following Christ, Parenting

When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want

A few nights ago, I got a taste of what God sees in us through an experience with Josiah. I love how being a parent widens my eyes that way.

He had a huge day and was really tired. I was preparing his bedtime routine when he started sassing me something fierce. For whatever reason (I’m guessing the Holy Spirit), I was able to respond in grace despite my own exhaustion. I knew he was tired, and in spite of his fervor for “a snack and a show”, I knew that what he needed was a bath and some sleep. I kindly told him he should not talk to Momma that way, and that it was time to get washed up and go to bed.

How many times does God hand us what’s best for us, and we start to sass him? I know I’ve pitched a fit over not getting what I want. The cool thing is, God is our parent and can handle our childish anger. He will kindly give us what He knows is best for us, even if we can’t see His purposes at the time.

I’ll never forget being on a road-trip with my parents when Dad ended up driving down the wrong highway. I don’t know if he missed an exit, or what. The details aren’t super clear anymore. What I do remember is discovering not too long after that a plane had crashed into the highway we were supposed to be on right when we’d have been driving through! Now, we can’t be sure, but it’s definitely possible that our road-trip got “off course” because God was protecting our family from a terrible accident.

When things like that happen, I take it as a reminder to not get upset when life doesn’t go as I think it should. Truth be told, we don’t know what’s around a corner. What we want may not align with what we actually need for a healthy, joy-filled life. Additionally, getting flustered over things we can’t control only makes matters worse.

Reading about the Israelites in the book of Numbers this week, I was reminded how ridiculous I can sound when I’m whining to God. I complain about the things He won’t give me as I sit in a heap of blessings everyday. Numbers recounts how He’d freed His people from captivity and provided their every need, and yet they whined because they wanted different food…

“…And the people of Israel also wept again and said, ‘Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at” (Numbers 11:5-6, ESV).

They were longing for the food they had in captivity! Isn’t that so like us? Because our circumstances aren’t exactly like we want them, we’d be willing to forgo God’s best for the sake of our own fleshly desires. It’s crazy when you really stop to think about it. I’m learning that I find the most joy in life when I thank God for what I have, and stop focusing on what I don’t. I hope you’ll feel encouraged to do the same.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).

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