You know, I feel that I’ve had the same conversation with my son at least 10 times now. One of those times occurred this morning, and our talk went something like this:
Son: “Can I take my Lego book to school today?”
Me: “No, you can’t! I’ve told you that before.”
Son: “But why?” followed by some sniffing and whining noises and a sad face…
Me: “Because it’s a nice book, you may rip the pages, it’s too big…” Then I remembered that I’m the mom, “Because I said so!”
Son: “Remember, I took that other big book.” more sniffling and whining noises accompanied by the sad face…
Me: “NO! Furthermore, if you ask me about that book one more time, I’m going to spank you!”
This ended the discussion. As my son completely soaked the end of his sleeve during his daily grooming session, I had to help him with changing it. See, all the discussion, whining and sniffling was slowing him down and it was time to go. And of course, my fingernail scratched his elbow. There was no mark by the way, and yet the grazing of my fingernail caused him to tear up. The reason for the tears was his external pain, right, and had absolutely nothing to do with my saying no to the Lego book. Right? Wrong. The tears were because he didn’t get to do something he wanted. And the aloof, cold good-bye I received this morning had everything to do with me not granting his wishes. And you know… this is such a picture of me and God!!
I’ve been going through my old journals, and I am so absorbed with the Summer of 2010. And I see from this time period that I cried out to God daily about me not being in my hometown. I wanted to go home so badly, my request made it into my prayer every day. I wonder what God heard… possibly something like this:
Me: “Can I go home to Virginia to live today?”
God: “No, you can’t… I’ve told you that before.”
Me: “But why?” followed by some sniffing and whining noises and a sad face…
God: “Because Virginia is too big for you right now… You just can’t handle it!”
Me: “Oh, God, please… I’m so sad. PLEEEEAAASSSSEEE can I go back now?” more sniffling and whining noises that soon escalated to wailing and thrashing. And of course, a sad face.
God: “NO! Furthermore, if you ask me about Virginia one more time, I’m going to spank you!”
Hmmm…. I just have to wonder about that. And so, this is what I’ve surmised. God wants me to ask for what I want. Because He is my heavenly Father. And furthermore, I believe with all my heart and soul that He wants me to be persistent with my requests. Because Scripture points to this. It’s in the eleventh chapter of Luke that the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. And that He did as I believe we’re all familiar with the Lord’s prayer. But do you know that immediately following that model prayer, there is a parable about a persistent friend? Luke 11:5-10 says:
And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
You know, God wants us to come to Him with our requests. Because He loves us. He wants to give us our heart’s desire. It’s just that sometimes the answer is, “No,” or “Not yet.” Because God can see the big picture and we can’t. Our heavenly Father knows what’s good for us, and what’s harmful. Just like us as parents. I would love to let my son take that book on the bus. But I know it’s very large and he’s very small. I know that the way he would have to hold it and turn the pages would cause damage to the book. And so I say no…. for now.
I’ve tried to explain it to him, but he’s too young to understand. See, he thinks he would be careful. He believes that he’s responsible enough to handle it… but as his mom, I know otherwise. I can see the big picture. However, I now see that what my son is doing is good. It’s biblical. Of course he comes to me full of faith and asks again and again. Because I’m his mother. He asks over and over, “Can I take the book,” because he believes that one day my answer will be different. And you know, I think that’s true. How dare I break his spirit and his faith by threatening a spanking. Because you know, one day he’ll be older. One day he’ll be bigger and more careful and more responsible. One day he’ll be able to handle what he’s asking for. And so, don’t stop, dear son. Ask and it will be given to you… seek and you will find… knock and it will be opened to you…
Be persistent, dear son. I say to you, ask again and again… because perhaps one day my answer will take you by surprise. Perhaps one day, you’ll hear “Yes.” For when you can handle it, why, it will be my pleasure to grant you your heart’s desire.
“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:11-13