You know those times when God catches you during an unexpected, everyday moment and seems to say, “Sweet child, that happened for you.” Well, let me tell you a story from a seemingly ordinary moment just like that from earlier this week…
The rhythm of our morning was like it was most every morning. All the blinds open, rousing rays of light falling through the windows and across the floor. Michael sat at the kitchen table, his Bible open and his bagel in the toaster. The speaker that sits between the windows and behind my tiny potted plants was playing on low. The aroma of brewed coffee filled the room, whispering to my senses, “This is home.”
At this point, Asher had already successfully downed his first course (the bottle) and was propped up in his high chair waiting his next (oh to be a kid again). I had walked over to get a banana so I could cut it up into the perfect size pieces and feed him one of his favorites. I saw his sweet little face and watched as he signed, “More please.” I smiled proudly then turned to finish getting it ready for him when he clapped his hands together with all his might (the not so polite version of more please) and goblin screamed at me. This time I replied, “You’re not so patient are you buddy? I have it right here for you. I’m just getting it all ready to go.” (As I did a half laugh, half eye roll in Michael’s direction).
And right at that very moment is when it hit me.
How many times am I EXACTLY like Asher?? I ask the Lord politely for something that my heart deeply desires. Then–in my humanness and impatience and very meager, lacking perspective–I clap my hands together with all my might and cry louder because goodness knows, I want it now!
What if I had given Asher the banana with the peel on it? I’m sure he would have looked at me like I was crazy. Like, “What in the world is this mom? This isn’t a banana.” Or what if I had placed a peeled but whole banana on his tray? He could have choked trying to eat it. As his mom, I knew that I needed to peel away the outer layer of the banana then chop it up into bite size pieces before I could give it to Asher in a way that would be exactly how he needed it (even if he didn’t know it at the time). I wasn’t withholding something out of spite and I wasn’t ignoring his request. I heard him and it was my joy to give him something that he delighted in.
I’m a visual learner and I think God knew that this particular morning. More often than I care to admit, this is me. Asking God politely the first time for something. (You fill in your own blank here). I wait and wait until I clap with all my might and goblin scream (okay, maybe not goblin scream but you get the picture). I believe our God is good and He is always working for the good of the believer—even when it seems far from it. I believe He hears us when we cry to Him. I believe He is preparing something for us to give to us at the exact moment He knows we’ll need it, in the exact perfect way that we’ll be able to enjoy it to the full. Just goodness knows, I forget it often. What if God decided to give me that very thing that I so desperately desired before it was ready? Maybe I wouldn’t recognize it as the gift that He wanted to give me. Possibly miss it altogether. Maybe I would have the same thought as Asher, “Huh? What is this?” and then demand for it louder. Or what if He placed in front of me the thing that was partially prepared for my life…but the essential last steps weren’t complete. It would do me more harm than it would good.
He knows what we want…and more importantly, what we need. He knows each necessary step it takes to prepare it…and more importantly, prepare us. In the time He’s working, He’s asking us to trust Him. He’s working good in our lives (even when it may not feel that way) and He’s shaping our character as we wait.
Now I have a very vivid picture of my son…one that replays often as I pray to the Lord for that thing.
So next time I bring that same request to the Lord in prayer again, I hope that instead of clapping my hands louder I’ll quiet my impatient heart and remember my good, loving, working Father smile and say, “I have it right here for you Lacey. I’m just getting it ready to go…”