God only gives what is good for his children to his children.” John Piper
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Amina is a brilliant, beautiful 6-year-old girl. As a first-grader, Amina was tired of being locked down and missed hearing the beautiful, noisy little voices which usually surround her at school. She negotiated with her parents to go for a bike ride after a nap, danced her way to the bedroom, and drew the curtains. She lay down covered with her beautiful Elsa blanket, brimming with unquenchable joy anticipating the ride after her nap.
Amina woke up after an hour and started jumping and singing “yeah, I’m ready for a ride, I’m ready for a ride”. She quickly went downstairs, barely catching her breath before her father called out for her to unwrap a present. She opened her present, squealed for joy, and said “I can’t believe you got this for me. It’s so pretty. Thank you, dad”.
Amina quickly forgot the excitement of the gift and raced to the closet to dress for the ride. She would not lose her singular focus on her desire. Once dressed, Amina enthusiastically announced to the household, “I’m ready to go for a ride. Is anyone listening?”
Little did she knew that her father had something else in mind that he thought would excite Amina even more than the present or the bike ride. He called everyone to get and ready and head out.
Amina asked “But dad, where are we going? I’m ready for the bike ride you promised before nap. Can you please watch me while I ride my bike.”
Her father was determined to keep where they were headed a secret, and just smiled at her and said let’s go. The family got into the car while Amina began getting agitated and kept asking where they were going.
They drove to a nearby store and went in to surprise Amina and her younger sister with Easter dresses. She saw one particular dress and began dancing excitedly and leaping for joy. They got into the car with the new dresses and Amina began pleading again to ride her bike.
By now you would have thought surprises and presents would have overshadowed her initial desire. She yelled and cried “That’s not fair”. Her dad said, “Amina” in a tender, sweet voice “I got you dresses because there was a sale ending today. It’s been two years since I bought you and sister new dresses”. A few days later, her dad lost his job due to COVID-19, and Amina realized these might be the last new dresses they get for a long time, but that she can ride her bike any day. She now cherishes her dress, and even wears it often to perform songs and share joy with her father.
This story reminds us of how we as children of God often behave. God, in His infinite wisdom, gives us presents because he knows what his children need instead of what we request. We usually receive these begrudgingly, instead of with joyous hearts. Or we quickly receive them with excitement, but within a breath, we ask for more without savoring the gifts we just received.
You can always hear the small inner voice crying out “But God, this is not it”. My prayer is that we will all learn to trust the father and lean on him even when do not understand. We live life forward, but we understand life backward. To tell you the truth, I sometimes struggle with completely letting God have his way. Our desire as his children should be to trust him completely, even in uncertainty, for the “Father Knows Best”.
Thank you for reading and stay blessed!