“Hold. It. This drink. HOLD IT!”
“Hooooold it! Hold it? Hold it? This drink? Hold it?”
These phrases seemed to run endlessly across my toddler’s lips as I pulled out of the Chick-fil-a parking lot after retrieving our lunch from the drive-thru window.
“Not right now, baby. You can have it when we get home.” I told her.
She was desperate to hold the lemonade I got for the two of us to share, but I didn’t want her to have any while we were in the car. I needed her to wait until we got home and I could pour some into her own cup so she wouldn’t make a mess.
I was going to give her some. I hadn’t changed my mind about that. But at the rate the words flew from her mouth and the way her volume knob seemed to be ever increasing by the minute, you’d thought I had tossed that cup of lemonade out the window and told her she’d never ever have lemonade ever again. Ever.
Then it hit me.
How many times do I ask God for something and He answers me with, “You can have it, just not right now.” And instead of being patient out of obedience to Him and remembering He has my best interest in mind, I start whining.
And whining some more.
“But, you said I could have it! I want it NOW! Please, please, please?”
“What if I ask nicely?”
“What if I wait just a few minutes longer and ask you again?”
“What if I raise my voice a little?”
“What if I whine SO annoyingly that I think you’ll give in… can I have it then?”
And still He holds firm with me, like I do with my daughter. Because He knows what is best for me, just like I know better than a two year old what is best for her. And what’s best for her is waiting to get home so mommy can pour lemonade into her sippy cup so she doesn’t spill it all over herself trying to drink it in the car.
How many times have we prayed and asked God for something and He answered, “Yes, but not right now.”
And how many times has He asked us to wait on His sovereign timing and be patient, yet we fail to be?
I could make a list a mile long of instances where I was impatient with God’s timing. And, honestly, the more that I think about it, I’m struggling to even find a handful of times where I was genuinely patient on the Lord. But look what happens when we do wait patiently on the Lord:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
He hears our cries.
He lifts us out of our despair and gives us a place to rest.
He gives us a new song to sing — one that I imagine has a lot less whining than the one we were singing before…
When we finally got home, Lucy had to wait just a little while longer to get her drink. I put on Sleeping Beauty for her to watch while I put the baby down for his nap, took the dog out, and retrieved the lemonade from the car (because, of course, I forgot it in there…). As she saw me open the door with the cup of lemonade in hand, I noticed her tune had changed.
I got out her purple sippy cup from the cabinet — the one she likes with the little birds on the front, and poured some lemonade in it.
She took a big sip, looked at me and smiled and said…