A few days ago, our kids made Christmas wish lists, excitedly handed them to me, and with equal parts naiveté and ignorant bliss, seamlessly shifted to full-on expectation mode. They’re at rest knowing we’ll do all in our power as their parents to make their dreams come true.
A few weeks ago, just days after we arrived in Kentucky, I saw tweets from friends back in Colorado that the first snowfall had begun. Outside my window, it was sunny, warm, and gorgeous. But I was glum. Few things elevate my spirits more than snowfall in winter. And in Colorado, my spirits were uplifted a lot. Rather than take my heartache to God in prayer, I sulked. He moved us here. He loves us. And He gives good gifts to His children. But it seemed silly to ask Him for snow here in the south. I assumed we’d left the white beauty behind.
This morning I was praying about my ingratitude and lack of faith. I even thought about my desire for snow and how selfish and childish it is to pout over rain in December. I reminded myself of a kid I saw at Target who spotted a box of Legos and demanded it, only to be denied. The scene escalated quickly, with great volume, till nearly everyone in the store was uncomfortably aware of the showdown. With fists clenched he melted down in tantrum. Pity the mother who gives in at this point. To get what you want after demanding it in anger is to teach that tantrums are what satisfy.
I’m too often like that belligerent child. When I don’t trust God, I miss out on the joy of seeing Him act and witnessing His provision. Instead, I find myself receiving the gift when it does come–as it so often does–with sorrow. In those moments I’m most aware of my doubt and fear, when what I should be focused on is His goodness and grace. It’s humbling. How much better to have humility in the waiting, in the absence and lack; a humility characterized by childlike faith. I want to wait in expectation, fully convinced that God is able to answer my prayers, and as loving Father, does. Ultimately it’s not the gift that satisfies, but Him.
I want to be like our kids with their wish lists, not like the boy at the Target. When I wait in faith, the answers God gives are sweet, even when they’re not what I imagined they’d be.
He is good.
And sometimes His answers are even better than I’d hoped for.
I’m sorry today for my doubt and fear and disappointment. But also, I’m reminded of His kindness and grace. So far, on this 4th Day of December, we’ve had snowflakes falling three of the four days. What a sweet gift–one I long to receive with delight over His goodness, rather than embarrassment over my faithlessness.
Thanks to our kids’ earnest pleas to head outside at the first light of dawn, this morning I did.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them (Mark 10:14-16).