Today was just…well…typical. Thankfully the kids didn’t start aimlessly bickering until after breakfast, and I was able to complete a few teleconferences without interruptions. Yay! Those seem to be my only two measures of success these days.
This evening, on the other hand, made me smile; and smiling with one toddler and one gradeschooler demanding every last ounce of energy for four consecutive hours is…well…sometimes atypical if I’m being honest.
Tonight I asked Jacob to put on his pajamas and brush his teeth in preparation for bed. He looked up from his toy cars as I was speaking, but quickly went back to making them vroom all around the floor like only a boy can do. He didn’t spring into action like any mother would hope. Instead he kept playing, and playing, and playing.
I enjoy watching (and listening) to him play, so I didn’t particularly mind. And whenever he chooses self-play over his tablet or demanding my participation, it’s a win. So, I left him to tend to his cars in his make believe city.
But after a while, the inevitable hit. It was now 30 minutes later and well past his bedtime, and Jacob still wasn’t in his pjs and his teeth still lacked a sparkle (and minty scent I might add). As much as I didn’t want to, I had to prompt him again.
“Hey buddy,” I said.
“Buddy?” I tried again.
“What mom?” he finally replied.
“I asked you to do something. Do you remember what it is I asked you to do?”
“MOOOOM! You don’t have to tell me twice, geeze!” He said in a voice that was hard to discern if it was anger or annoyance. Then off he marched to his room to change his clothes.
Right then, in that moment, it hit me. This simple exchange between Jacob and I served as a reminder TO ME that God, like Jacob, hears my requests, but just because I don’t have a sign from Him that He hears me, doesn’t mean He doesn’t. Yes, I want my requests to be answered ‘right now,’ but my will isn’t God’s will; only He knows what (and when!) is best for me.
Impatience comes easy, patience does not.
I know what it’s like to return to God and repeat your petitions day after day because you assume He isn’t listening. But let Jacob (my little guy) serve as a reminder for you, too. God hears us, and He’s working on the best outcome, even if we have no tangible evidence of such!
During your moments of impatience, ask yourself: “Self” (you should say), “would you rather have a mediocre ending, or one that truly knocks your socks off?” Let’s consider some possible distinctions:
Do you want to get married to someone that meets all your secret criteria, or just some of it? If you insist that God answer you right now, then be prepared to settle for someone that may seem on the surface to be your match, but in the end you’ll discover they weren’t who you prayed for.
Do you want a new job making a great salary, with an empathetic boss, and coworkers who become friends, or do you just want a different job? If you insist that God answer you right now, then don’t be upset when your next job makes the one you have seem like a dream.
Do you want a healthy child that both you and your spouse are emotionally and financially ready to raise, or do you simply just want to have a baby? If you insist that God answer you right now, then don’t be disappointed if something happens along the parental course that doesn’t leave you feeling joyful.
Do you want your crisis to lead to unimaginable opportunities of sharing your story to help others, or do you simply just want the crisis to end? If you insist that God answer you right now, then don’t be disappointed when your current problem is solved but another one pops up.
It takes time to get to the knock-your-socks-off ending. Trust God, and relinquish control to Him, for those who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything.
Don’t. Lose. Hope. And keep praying. Even when you don’t want to. Especially when you don’t want to!
Tonight, I pray the following verse brings you peace during your wait:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.Jeremiah 29:11-12, NIV