My 9-year-old son, Cameron, had outgrown his bike, and it was falling apart. The chain kept coming off, and my husband had tried to fix it many times.
Back in April, a bike had been left leaning against the wall of our church. We lived in the parsonage next door. After about 10 days, we realized that the bike probably had been stolen and dumped there. We decided to do the right thing, we called the police to turn it in. After all, that's what we would want someone to do for us if our bike had been taken. We assured Cameron that doing the right thing was more important than keeping the bike for himself.
The police department said that we could wait 30 days, and if it was unclaimed, we could have it. We were thrilled! But then we were told it was a 90-day wait. OK, we would mark the calendar and hold out; Cameron's current bike would just have to last a little longer. Cameron prayed and prayed that he could have this bike.
When we called at the 90-day-mark, they told us that they had to hold on to the bike for one year. You have got to be kidding me! At this point, I got mad at God. I said, "OK, God. What is going on here? We did the right thing, and this is what happens? Can't You show Yourself to be a God who cares about the prayers of a 9-year-old boy who not only wants but needs a new bike? Why can't You give us favor here? Cameron is so disappointed and sad! Why couldn't You just come through for us?"
I proceeded to say the "right" thing to my son, though I did not believe it myself: "Cameron, if God didn't let you have this bike, then I just know He has a better bike for you!" Down deep inside, I fought feelings that God had let us all down and that He didn't care. Honestly, I threw a little spiritual fit! I was upset!
Well . . . you can probably guess what happened. God did come through, but not in the way I thought He would. I would have settled for this used, left over, stolen bike for my son, but God had a brand new bike in the works for Cameron! God moved on the heart of a precious man to buy Cameron a new bike! Cameron could hardly contain himself. Neither could I! And he is happily riding this new, beautiful bike whose chain never falls off!
I could feel God beginning to gently correct me for my lack of faith . . . for doubting Him . . . for thinking that He did not care. I asked Him to forgive me, and I began to wonder how many times we settle for something or try to make things work out the way we see fit rather than waiting on God’s plan and timing. I wonder how many times we settle for what's "left over" and miss out on something better because we try to work things out our way .
So the next time things don't work out my way, I am going to remind myself of this: God truly has something better for me that I cannot see at this moment. But if I will be patient for His timing, I will be amazed at the beautiful, new things He has in store for me spiritually, emotionally, physically -- in every way! That is faith!
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Jennell Houts is a blogger and just finished writing her first book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Busy People.