In a crowded supermarket, a yelp, no matter how stifled, rings out through aisles methodically lined with baked beans and canned cabbage. Decibels skim over the snow white polished floors and whiz speedily past carts full of cheese sticks and coffee grounds. Heads begin to turn and eyes begin to widen as deafening cries drown out the pleasant tune trickling out of the speakers.
A pint sized gal with straw colored hair pulls out her polka dotted bow and hurls it to the floor below. Her father stands tall, trying to reason with his girl. She falls to the ground, knocking over a display of freshly baked cookies. With karate style kicks and ear-stinging screams, she flails about on the solid ground. She squirms. Her words become knife-sharp and her rosy cheeks become moist with hot, angry tears. People begin to stare.
"Attention, temper tantrum on aisle 6. Temper tantrum on aisle 6. Thank you."
She begs her father.. "PLEASE, PLEASE just LET ME HAVE THAT PIECE OF CAKE!!!!!
Please give that to me!!! It's all I want!!!!!! Please GIVE IT TO ME!"
Her father looks down at his daughter, and calmly whispers, "No, honey. You just can't have that right now. It's delicious, and so filling, but you haven't had dinner yet. Just wait, and I'll give you cake afterwards. You have to wait."
Her voice gets louder. "NO. YOU DON'T GET IT!! I WANT IT NOW. I WANT IT RIGHT. NOW."
Still, the Father looks into her tear-flooded ocean blue eyes. "No, sweet girl. You cannot have it now. If I gave it to you now, you would miss the chance to eat this wonderful dinner I have laid out at home. You would be too full to enjoy it. Please, just wait."
"BUT THAT CAKE IS SO GOOD!!! IT'S NOT EVEN BAD FOR ME!!! PLEASE.. PLEASE LET ME HAVE IT NOW. DON'T YOU LOVE ME????"
As customers begin to glare in their direction, her wails only heighten. Her discontent echos out until the entire store knows she is unhappy with her Father. Her complaints flood the the spaces in between check out lines and cake squares. Still, He reasons with her.
"Oh, daughter. You don't understand!!! If I gave you what you craved right now, you'll miss out on what I have prepared for you. Why would you want to skip ahead to your dessert before you sit down before the feast I have made for you? Please, please wait. Please, please trust me."
He reaches down, picks her up, and lays her head on His shoulder. His voice whispers, "Please, please just wait. I have immeasurably more for you than you could dream about.. just wait. Just wait."
And in that moment, she stills. She rests her head on her daddy's shoulder. The crying ceases, the tantrum is quieted.
That girl.. she and I have more in common than not. How often do I find myself at the feet of my Father, screaming out, crying out, for something I desire? Something that, in and of itself, is not bad for me? How many temper tantrums do I throw when my plans don't come to fruition? How loud are my cries of frustration to a God who is only good?
I sit at His feet and flail about.. agitated, discontent and fed up. Why can't you give me what I am praying for? Haven't I waited long enough, Father? Haven't you promised me these things? WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP WAITING?
He knows this soul. He knows the anxiety that courses through it, the waves of comparison that pass over it and the series of doubts that compose it. He knows every ache, every cry, every tear. He stands tall before me as I kick and scream.. begging for me to simply WAIT.
And oh, do I want that piece of chocolate cake.. but what a shame it would be to miss out on the feast set before me in these days. The hours of quietness in His word, the moments available to spend with girlfriends. The days wide-open to serve Him with. Why hurry along the next course and miss truly tasting the plate in front of me?
He works EVERYTHING for the good of those who love Him. He withholds NO GOOD THING from those who love Him.
So.. that piece of chocolate cake? It's GOOD. It's TASTY. It's RICH.
But it won't be filling and satisfying if it's not what I need right now.
If it's good, He freely gives it. If it's not good RIGHT NOW, He holds it in His arms it's time.
What a Father. He knows what's best for His girls. He is not phased by my begging and pleading. He simply cups my face into His hands and asks me to wait. To be still... and still I will be.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield unto us; the LORD will give grace and glory; he will not withhold good from those that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11.