On Sunday after church, my boys were in the van with me looking through their two Lego books they got from the library. These books have been going everywhere with us, allowing them to read and re-read them many times. It seems that each time they will show me different Lego sets that they wish to purchase. There are a lot of sets in these books, so I have concluded that they will need to find someone to sponsor their Lego habit. On this particular day, I told my 5-year-old son that since he had some birthday money set aside, that he could buy himself a new Lego set, if he wanted to. Well, he wanted to. So, after lunch we went online and looked at the many different options. My 7-year-old son was distraught because he had no money left after buying his new bike, but yet he wanted me to buy him something. I told him he needed to wait until he saved up more of his money. He went on to try to convince me that I could just get him something and that would be a wonderful idea of everyone. That didn’t work, so he decided to try to convince his brother to let him in on his newly purchased set. That didn’t work either. He finally settled on saving up his money to buy a set later on. This is not what he would like to do, but I understand that is actually a valuable lesson for him.
As a parent, I make many decisions in the best interest of my children. Many times they don’t see it that way, but I can often see a much larger picture than they can. If I bought them everything they wanted, I wouldn’t have any money and they would not appreciate what the do have. If I let them eat candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they would be nutritionally depleted and would suffer as a result. Parents, with a few obvious exceptions, will act in the best interest of their children.
This becomes even more of a battle in the teenage years when the newly licensed driver decides they want to break their junior operator restrictions and drive their friends home from school. Despite all the claims that “it is not a big deal” parents tell their children they cannot do that. Why? It is not because they don’t trust their children, it is because they realize that if they get caught breaking that rule, they will lose their license and need to take another class. This will annoy the student and parent alike as they are forced to pay more money and spend more time in order to get another drivers license. There are consequences for actions and parents can often see some of the pitfalls clearer than their children.
As children of God, we often do the same thing to Him. God knows what is best and yet we so often demand something that we want. This last week saw a huge lottery and some potential winners who are supposedly out there somewhere. People lined up on the street and put down a lot of money in order to get a small chance to win money that they did not earn. How many people prayed and asked God to please let them win? Did God answer their prayers? God, as our Father, knows the pitfalls of winning that kind of prize. He knows that while it might seem like a great answer to the many financial problems people face, it is also a gateway to even greater problems down the road. It may make someone self-dependent and even cost someone their life.
“A man’s riches may ransom his life, buy a poor man hears no threat.” Proverbs 13:8
In 1 Samuel 8, the people begged God for a King, even though God was already their rightful king. They would have been fine just letting God be their rightful king, but they wanted something else. God even warns them over and over again about the dangers that will come as a result, but they still wanted their king. God allows them to have a King in Saul. The problems started early with Saul as he disobeyed God and lost the favor of God. God had warned them, but they thought they knew what was best for them.
God knows what is best and we need to trust Him to provide it. I know I can get caught up in my circumstances and wonder what God is doing. But, as I keep my eyes on Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for me, I know that I can trust God to have my best interest in mind. If He did not want what was best for me, why would He die the death He did?
As we approach Easter, what perspective do you gain from remembering the cross? Do you find comfort in knowing that even if you don’t see the entire story of your life unfolded, that the one who is in control has you in mind? As a father, I love to give gifts to my children. As a perfect father, God even more so delights in giving us gifts, proven to us in His Son Jesus Christ. Trust Him!