Overflowing with excitement, his body was unable to contain his enthusiasm. His anticipation burst through his limbs with skips, leaps, and bounds. His destination....the water gun game at Dollywood.
For months, our lovable 9 year old son named Joe, begged to play this carnival game at Dollywood. We attempted to discourage it knowing he could end up wasting his money and leaving with 5 dollars less and teary-eyed.
This time, though, he was determined. He asked for his allowance convinced he would win the over-sized stuffed crayon the size of a small child. This was the day he had been waiting for all summer. Seriously, or so he insistently told us.
When we arrived at the long awaited game, only two others plus himself were lined up to play. He was more convinced than ever that he would finally get his giant crayola trophy. Then... 2, 3, 4 more entered until the game was nearly full. The odds were tougher now, but he was still confident.
My heart was torn.
Part of me wanted my son to lose so he could learn a valuable lesson about being a good steward of money and how paying money to play a game to win something was similar to gambling. Only do it if you don't mind throwing away money.
The other part of me was hopeful for my son to achieve his heart's desire. He had waited so long with bubbled over enthusiasm for this crayon he desperately hoped to win. I so wanted him to have his heart's desire.
So, I prayed....Lord, I pray for your will to be done, whatever is best for Joe.
The starting bell rang and the guns shot forth streams of water. Joe was ahead. Oh, he might win! It looks like he will win....wait, that other one is also close. RINGGGGG! Game over. Joe had lost by less than a centimeter. It had been so close. To the naked eye, it looked like a tie. Tears. Five dollars gone. Nothing to show for it.
There is always a reason when we do not get what we desperately want.
When God does not give us what we want, it is because He has something better in mind. God is the only one who knows what is best for us. He knows whether a job is right for us, whether a house we want to buy will be a blessing or a disaster. He knows what the future holds and can see into situations unknown to us.
When God says wait or no, we need to trust He has our best interests at heart. He always wants what is best for His children, just like I want what is best for my son. Joe's idea of what was best in this case was not necessarily what was best for him. He couldn't see the big picture. God sees the big picture.
We need to be careful about insisting on our own way with the Lord. The children of Israel insisted on having a king even though the Lord warned them against it. In 1 Samuel chapter 8 it explains how Samuel warned the Israelites about all the negative consequences of having a king rule over them. However, they did not listen to the voice of the Lord and insisted on their own way.
God will give you your own way even if it is not best for you if you insist on going against His voice.
Our prayer in areas of uncertainty of the Lord's will needs to be for His will to be accomplished. Then, trust in His provision. We need to have a healthy fear of the Lord that restrains us from asking Him repeatedly for something that may not be His perfect will for us.
Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near....
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
He always will give us what is best for us when we trust in Him. It may not be in our timing or in the way we think is best. It will always be in His divine timing and in the way that is His best for us. The Lord is never late and He is never less than best.
So, if you don't get that giant crayon you've been wanting, remember the Lord has something better in mind for you. Christ-like character is developed in us in the waiting. God is more interested in the condition of our hearts than the condition of our pocket books. Our character development and heart conditions are more valuable than any monetary treasure we may desire.
It says in God's Word, those who have faith and patience will inherit the promise (Hebrews 6:12). Patience is only developed by waiting. Wait with faith, expecting God's best and He will always deliver. It may not be in the exact color you were expecting, but it will be what you need to help color in the picture of God's perfect will for your life.