I remember when my daughter was four years old; she realized that she had the ability to say “no” and let me tell you, she utilized her vocab! You learn early on with a strong-willed child that consistency is the only way to survive. After I’d make her macaroni and cheese for lunch, she’d decide it was no longer her desire to eat it. At that point, I would give her two options: you can have mac and cheese or you can have nothing.
“I don’t want macawoni.”
“You can have macaroni or you can have nothing, you get to choose.”
“I want peessa.”
“No, pizza isn’t one of your choices. You can have macaroni or nothing, which one do you want.”
“I don’t want macawoni. I want peessa.”
“Okay, then you’re choosing nothing. If you change your mind, the macaroni is at the table.”
Hunger would win out and she’d eat the macaroni, but sometimes it took a while before she surrendered to my plan. I remember thinking of this verse often during those years and praying “Lord, when we will she learn that my ways are higher than hers? How long does it take before children understand that we, as parents, want only the best for them?” Such an innocent prayer. My daughter is now a teenager and my prayer hasn’t changed much.
So, as parents, you’d think we’d get it, right? Not so much. I remember years ago praying that God would bring healing and wholeness to my marriage. I was reading a wonderful book at the time and the author had given a woman an assignment that he was convinced would bring about a change in their relationship. For six months she was not to complain or be critical at all, about anything. I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit and knew this was what God was asking of me. Of course, I was pregnant, we had just moved and there was a lot going on in my life, and I explained to Him how impossible the assignment was for me right now. Basically, I told Him, “no.”
About a week later, at church, I once again began praying for my marriage. Well, let me just show you how that conversation went…
“Hold it right there.”
“I’ve already given you the next step and if you don’t want to take it, then there isn’t much for us to talk about.”
“I don’t want to do that, but I want my marriage healed.”
“Sorry, that’s not one of your options. You can obey what I’ve told you to do, or you can wallow in your unhappiness.”
It was then that I saw how God viewed me — I was a stubborn four-year old wanting things my way and He was holding me firmly in His arms, telling me I didn’t get to have things my way. He had given me two options, and my way was not one of them. I realized in that moment that He would sit there and hold me forever until I willingly surrendered to His authority.
I wish I could say that I did right then, but I knew a lot back then, and I didn’t. It took me another four days before I climbed off His lap and went to eat my macawoni. Thank God that I did. It’s thirteen years later and I am so blessed to love my husband and experience his love in return.
The next time you think you know what’s best for your life, think about your kids, and remember that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.