Yesterday, I blocked off time to go up and play with my children. I decided when I was there that I wanted my middle child to work on his letters using an app on my phone (with promises to the other two that they could work on their letters/words when 15 minutes had passed). After uppercase letters and lowercase letters, my middle son still had two minutes remaining.
I tried to pull up the numbers game on my phone but the game required software only available on computers so I sent him downstairs to get the computer. My husband was on it, but when he found out that I needed it, he said that he could finish up so I could use it. My son relayed the message so I played on my phone while we waited.
A few minutes into the wait, my son spoke words that are sure to incite anger to the depths of my soul. He said, “Mommy, you are taking too long.”
You see, he thought that I was the hold up. He thought it was me keeping him from his last two minutes, but in reality, he identified the wrong culprit. Let’s pretend that my husband sent the computer up immediately. That means he still has a few minutes of finishing up details left to do. He is going to need the computer back, but if he finishes now, my son can play until his heart is content. The computer has more access, more activities, more things he would like. He can have more than two minutes because my two other children do not need it BUT HE WAS TOO CONCERNED THAT I WAS TAKING TOO LONG!
As a mom, I lost it. I sent him to bed. To be rushed by a 5-year old sent me over the edge. He does not have to play at all EVER, but I wanted to give him better, more than what an out-of-date cell phone has to offer…
I spend my days cleaning and getting my kids ready, dropping them off, picking them up, brushing their teeth, spending money I do not have on lunchables because camp food is disgusting, going for haircuts, arguing about batteries that run out on toys because they leave them on, explaining that perhaps they should opt for the $10 train and not he $54 one. Yet, here he was. The nerve of him to tell me, “You’re taking too long.”
He had nothing else to do but play with toys and watch TV. He had nowhere else to be so, infuriated, I sent him to sleep in a room without anything…no phone, no television, no toys, no computer. He lost it all with one small statement.
How often do we do the same to God? We put in our requests, and we wait…patiently at first. Yet, as we wait in eager anticipation of whatever He has promised we begin to get antsy. Eventually our patience gets the best of us. We blurt, “You’re taking too long!”
Thank God, He is not like me. He does not lose it. He simply explains that He is wrapping up somewhere else. He is getting it ready so when He gives it to us, we can use it as long as we would like. It will be bigger and better than our current state of affairs, just be patient..
And as we think about whatever it is that we have petitioned to God, let us learn lessons from toddlers who do not yet know better. Three things…three simple things we must ingrain in our hearts when we feel our results are “taking too long.”
- He heard the request. He was not ignoring us, not just “playing on” His phone. He already set a plan in motion even before we began talking. He knew what we needed. The answer was on the way before we knew what we were going to ask.
- He is working out the details. Sometimes we think the details are only what we can see. Silly us! Most of what we need goes on behind the scenes. He is talking to people, sending us to talk to people, who will do it simply because He asked. What we are seeing is not ALL of what we are getting. Leave Him alone. He does not need our help. He asked us to do one thing. That is it. Now we sit, and we wait after we have done it.
- Whatever He has is bigger. We think He is going to give us a better activity for the phone, or maybe even a new phone. What He actually has is a computer. It can do more. It can reach more. It has a greater capacity. My computer, in all the pictures and downloads and streaming has NOT YET told me it’s memory is almost full. My computer has access to all programs compatible with its operating system. My computer never asks if I would like to see the “cell phone site” or the “cell phone version.” God is giving over and above our requests.
The nerve of us… The nerve of me… to tell Him that He is taking too long to give me what I asked for, when He brought the whole idea to me.
And He smiles, and says, “Brittany, stop beating yourself up. Go sit and play and wait. I’m working on it. I just need a little time. I’ve got some people to work on. I’ve got some things to put in place. You just do ordinary, and while you sit and enjoy ordinary, I’ll hand deliver extraordinary.”
What are some things you do when you feel your hard work is not paying off, when results are taking too long? I’d love to hear your feedback.
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