It drives my kids crazy to not know what I am cooking for lunch. Naturally, being the loving mother than I am, I am occasionally inclined to tease them by intentionally withholding that bit of information from them. Yes, I’m cruel like that. Even worse, I have fun doing it!
One day not too long ago, I was preparing lunch when Steven asked the daily question.
“What are we having for lunch, Mommy?”
In my sweet, loving way, I sarcastically replied, “Something that you won’t like at all. Nooooo, not at all!”
Typically when I use that particular tone of voice with the kids, they join right in with the teasing and start guessing their favorite meals, certain that I am preparing something they consider downright delicious. Chicken pot pie. Quiche. Mac and cheese with meat of some sort. Peachy chicken. Spaghetti. Whatever the case may be, they always know that if I hide the identity of lunch, it is because it’s one of their favorites.
But for some reason Steven didn’t “get it” on this particular day. Instead, in a mournful voice, he cried out, “I don’t want mushroom soup!”
Now, for the record, I have never, ever, ever served my family mushroom soup. Doug and I enjoy mushrooms, but we know that the kids do not. So, typically if we are going to have mushrooms in a meal, we fix them separately. Not always, but the occasions in which we demand that the children eat their mushrooms are rare. But mushroom soup? I don’t have a clue where he even got that idea!
It all boiled down to this, though: Steven was convinced that I was going to give him something that not only wasn’t on his favorite list, but also wasn’t even on the tolerable list. He was convinced that I was going to give him something he absolutely despised when, in reality, what I was preparing was pretty close to the top of his favorites list!
When God withholds from us what is coming (which, to be honest, is a pretty frequent occurrence), we have a tendency to make the same assumptions Steven made that day. We jump to the conclusion that God is going to give us “mushroom soup” when instead He has our favorite delicacies heating to perfection just beyond our vision.
There are times when, just like my children, we have to “eat” what is good for us, even if it’s not our preferred meal of life. But, God is not just waiting to hand us the most detestable gift we can conceive of. Instead, He delights in delighting us! But, so often we are so greatly dreading what He is going to hand out that we miss the delight of anticipation. We miss the signs that He is giving us that His wonderful delicacies are coming. And, when they do come, we’ve spent so much energy on the dread that we have trouble enjoying the delight.
God loves us. He delights in us. He desires that we delight in Him. And, despite the struggles of life that seem to say otherwise, He truly does want to prepare our favorite delicacies for us.
So, next time God withholds that information from you, stop and ask yourself: Are you dreading mushroom soup or anticipating delicacies?