The screaming and whining could be heard all over the store. “But, Mommy, I want that one!” Passing by the toy department, I spotted the culprit. A little girl; I’d guess she was about 3 years old, was pitching a fit. Pointing to the beautiful china doll on the top shelf, she cried out again. “But, Mommy, I want that one!” I heard the mother trying to reason with her. “You really are not ready for that doll, honey. We need to pick a different one.” “I don’t want a different one! I want that one!” The child didn’t understand, or care, that the one she wanted was not the best doll for her. She just liked the way that it looked from afar and that was all that mattered.
With last Sunday being Mother’s day, I was blessed with gifts from my family. They are very good about trying to think of just the right gift to give me; something I might have mentioned that I liked or maybe I need, but really wouldn’t go and buy for myself. Whatever they choose, they always seem to pick out just the right thing at the right time.
Some gifts, when they are just the right fit, we remember for a long time. July 11, 1983…my sixteenth birthday. On that sweet sixteen day, my parents gave me a unique keychain with a key to their car. I loved it! That key represented freedom; independence. Exactly what I was craving at that time! They took the time to pick out something they knew I would like. They planned ahead to have the key made. It was the right gift at the right time.
If, however, my parents had given me that exact same gift when I was 6, it would have been very strange; inappropriate even. At 6, I would have wondered what it was for. I wouldn’t have even known how to use it! My parents knew what to give and when to give it.
In James 1:17 we are told that God our Father gives good gifts to us, His children. Not only does He give good gifts, but He knows perfectly what to give and when to give it. His gifts are not spur of the moment because He forgot that a special day was on its way. His gifts are all about perfect timing.
When I was five, I couldn’t reach my jacket that was hanging on the last peg just above the cement steps that led to our basement. I called out for help, but just refused to wait. A tumble down those steps produced a black eye that stayed with me for a very long time.I didn’t trust that those who loved me would come and do what I needed when I wanted it.
Like me, many of us are asking God for help. We are crying out for something we need. The key is, can we wait patiently, all the while trusting that, in fact, His timing is perfect? Can we trust that He has our best in mind and is all the while working on our behalf?
Sometimes we grow impatient. We want the gift and we want it now. So we make the mistake of trying to get the gift by ourselves. Have you ever tried to get something by yourself? Is there something in your life that you really want…now? Is there one thing that you feel if you could just have that one thing now, your life would be complete, fulfilled? Maybe it is that job promotion. If you could just have that job at that pay, life would be so much better. Maybe it is a child. If God would just open your womb, the emptiness would finally be gone. If He would just heal your broken, cold marriage, then your heart would be joyful. If He would just fulfill that lifelong dream, you would be content. Are you tempted, like me, to go and get it any way, even if there is a possibility that if it doesn’t go just right you could end up with way more than a black eye?
There are times, with all of our prayers, (if we would admit it, maybe we are a bit like the screaming and whining child) He seems to be saying “no” or at least saying “not now”. It is here, in the place where our desires intersect His will, that we have to trust. It is here that we must trust that Father knows best and that every gift comes from the Father. Every time, in His time, the gift is good and it is perfect.
I have seen God’s perfect gifts in my life as I have waited on Him. Waited on Him for a husband. Waited on Him to open doors for ministry. Waited on Him to draw my kids to Himself. Lord, I see my history with You. I’m going to keep on waiting.