"Mommy, can I have a cookie?" Timmy asked.
"No," I said, "we're going to eat dinner soon."
"But I want a cookie!"
"Sorry. It's almost time for dinner."
"But I like cookies."
By this point, Timmy was getting distressed. "But how can I eat a cookie if you won't let me?" he begged.
The answer, of course, was that he couldn't. You can't have any cookies unless Mommy lets you have one.
I can understand his frustration. After all, I don't like it when I don't get what I want, either. Especially if it's sitting right there in front of my face, looking for all the world as though it should be mine.
Just as we sometimes say no to our children, God sometimes says no to us. When He does, what we wanted—what we thought should be ours—suddenly becomes forbidden fruit.
Spiritual discernment is required to discern what God's will is. But if I just keep trying to force the issue without ever considering that maybe I'm striving to obtain something God doesn't want me to have, I won't know what His will is.
At least Timmy asked me for my answer. Too often, I don't ask God for His. I just pursue what I want and expect Him to bless it. Oh, God, forgive me!
You see, Timmy understood what you and I don't always think about: If a parent says no, then it's no.
But what if it's something we really want? What then?
Here's where it comes down to faith. We say in our heads that we believe God knows what's best for us to have. But do we really believe it?
Apparently not, if we keep begging for yes when He's already said no or if we complain about no.
I wonder what difference it would make in your life and in mine if, instead of fighting God for something we don't really want, we would take what God gives that we need.
If we would accept God's gracious provision as just that—gracious—and be content.
"I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance. Everywhere and in all things I have learned the secret, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need" (Phil. 4:12).
Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure (Regal Books.) She is also a stay-at-home mom with five children.
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