Bedtime rituals can be trying for all parents. Children are tired, parents are tired, and there are still important rituals to be performed such as brushing teeth and saying prayers. It’s a wonderful time to interact, teach and learn with our children; reading bedtime stories , sharing about the day, and praying together. One night our oldest boy, at the time a sweet little 3 year old, was in a terrible rush to get his pajamas on and was having so much trouble putting on his footed jammies because the top half was inside out, while the bottom half was not. (Not entirely un-comical to watch)
I was explaining to him that they needed to be fixed and taking them off of him when he began crying “hey, give it back, give it back”. He was in such a hurry, that it took some time to get him calmed down, and he still didn’t quite understand why I had taken them until I showed him that I was turning them inside out. Finally he realized what was going on and calmed down. Catastrophe averted, he trundled off to bed.
Such a simple transaction; but I’ve done the same thing with my heavenly Father. “Give it back!” it would cry when I thought something that I was entitled to was being taken. Getting over the feeling of entitlement and replacing it with humble contentment could be the subject of volumes, but the nuance of this particular scenario was that I wasn’t taking away the pajamas for good, I was taking away something I wanted my son to have so that I could give it to him in the “right” way.
God has plans to prosper us. In the eternal sense of the word, but he blesses us here on Earth as well to further that goal. There may be many blessings that we have received or long for that he has planned for us and intends to give us, when and how it is right. I think a great example of this truth is my wife. We met in graduate school and have been together since. We have discovered over the years that we had numerous friends in common, and had come very close to running into each other almost five years earlier than we had. Some in jest and mostly in earnest we realized that, God definitely knew what he was doing. We were not ready for each other five years earlier. We were not the people he planned to make us before giving us the blessing of each other. We would have overlooked, misunderstood, or even dismissed this gift.
What blessings are in our life that we don’t understand HOW God is choosing to give us. Looking at his Earthly gifts with Eternal eyes can shed some light on this. Marrying someone who shares your faith has far lasting impact on you, your children, and your family, than seeking out some Earthly ideal of perfection or following impulsive infatuation. What is going on in your life that you might be feeling “Give it back!”?
This episode gives me a moment of thought when I feel like something is being taken away, or withheld. Then I go back and read Jeremiah 29:11 – “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.
He gives what is right, when it is right and it is always with hands of love and with a heart for your eternity. After all, when it’s all said and done, there’s nothing like the feeling of being zipped up in a pair of fuzzy footed pajamas and tucked into bed by strong hands you know love you.