For the taking
Every now and then, I get commissioned to make dessert for an event, and today had the pleasure to make my very favorite cupcakes for a birthday party. Even though my family has gotten used to waking up and seeing mountains of pristine piping and sparkling sugar, they’re always get a little disappointed when I don’t have any extra left over. “Are these for church?” my oldest will ask. Usually, my answer is, “Yeah, buddy, I’m sorry,” but TODAY I made 8 extra cupcakes, just for us. He woke up first, and was so excited to see them set aside. “Wow Mama, these look great! Can I have one?” (Bless his 4 year old heart, right?!!) “I can’t give you a cupcake for breakfast, buddy, so not right now, but you can totally have one later.” “Ok,” he sighed, resigned to waiting. I turned my back for a second to wipe off my spatula, when I heard him say, “I found a fish!” Turning around, I saw the box of my husband’s Swedish fish in his hands, 2 already popped into his mouth.
I felt frustration flare up my face. “If you couldn’t have a cupcake for breakfast, what makes you think candy was an acceptable option?”
“I don’t know…” he answered, pulling his teeth apart from the sticky candy.
Brow furrowed, I sent him out of the kitchen, telling him how disappointed I was with his choice. I know we’re not supposed to take stuff like this personally, because he’s just a little boy with low impulse control, but I was really upset. I felt like he took advantage of an opportunity to get something less than awesome because he didn’t trust me when I told him if he waited, he would be rewarded.
Conviction flushed through me, as I realized my big guy just takes after me. Often, SO often, I will be given this incredible promise by the Father, that I want fulfilled right that second. When told to wait, to hope, to walk in faith that He is good and keeps His promises and believe He is preparing me to receive the fullness of what He has for me, I start looking for something else, something immediate, because while I accept I won’t get what I really want right this second, I am going to get something. This has resulted in my grasping onto bad relationships, jobs that were terrible for me, poor medical care, even gaining weight while I was waiting for a promise of peace but filled the hole in my heart with cookies. When the Father’s confronted me about it, pointing back to His promise, I’ve tightened my grip, revealing at the end of the day, I don’t trust Him.
Reading in Exodus, I see how I fit in the picture of the Israelites wandering in the desert. He waited for a people who trusted Him, who acted in faith, to inherit the land of promise, and it took 40 years to weed out those willing to grumble against Him, and would manufacture and bow down before that which was subpar. We learn through their example that acting out and grasping for lesser doesn’t force His promise into fruition, but actively delays it, as we are being matured to receive what He has prepared for us.
I’m still going to give my son the cupcake, because I want him to know my promises are not broken by his behavior and when he does as I ask, I make good on my word. In the same way, my immaturity doesn’t void my Father’s promise, and He is always acting with grace, longsuffering and forgiveness. He’ll wait, circling me back to Him and away from my idols and quick fixes, refining my wayward heart, renewing my impatient thoughts. When I trust that “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (1 Cor 1:20), even if I have to wait awhile, then He will joyfully release all He has promised me.