While I was cooking dinner a few nights ago, Brody snuck into the pantry. He found a bag of marshmallows and quickly pulled them out, causing them to spill all over the floor.
"Mommy, they spilled!" he said.
My initial reaction was to clean them up for him but something stopped me.
"Well, you're going to have to pick them up and put them in the trash," I replied. "This is why Mommy told you not to go into the pantry."
He obediently began to pick them up off the floor and walk them over to the trash can.
As I stood near him cooking dinner, I noticed how he was only able to grab a few at a time before his little hands were so full that he had to make another trip to the trash can. I felt bad for him, thinking I should go help him so that it will not take him as long. But again, something stopped me.
Then I heard, "Mommy, can you come help me?"
"No, Brody, you need to pick them up by yourself." I felt bad, but I knew there was a lesson in it for him.
In that moment, God reminded me of how many times we call upon Him for help but he tells us "No." There is a lesson in the "no" that we must learn on our own. It's not because He is mean or because He is too busy or because He doesn't hear us. He wants to help. It makes Him sad to leave us alone in the task because He knows He could make it so much easier for us. His hands could carry so much more of the burden then our little "child-sized" hands. But, if He helped, then we wouldn't come out of the situation as a more mature individual.
So I left Brody to pick up the marshmallows all by himself. He worked hard and diligently to get them all cleaned up, but he didn't seem to be putting a dent in the mess.
A few minutes later, Jonathan came home from work.
"Hey, Buddy! What happened?" Jonathan asked.
"I spilled the marshmallows," Brody answered.
Then Jonathan knelt down next to him and began scooping the tiny marshmallows into his hands. I almost told him not to help--that Brody needed to do this all by himself.
But then it hit me. Sometimes God's "no" isn't really a "no." It's a "wait." It's a "you need to do this on your own for now, but once you've matured a little more I will send help."
It's funny how God reveals things through your child. There are so many truths that I grasp now that I am a Mom...truths that I thought I understood before, but have come to understand on a much deeper level now that I am a parent.
For instance--just how deeply God loves us. I can't imagine how anybody could love anyone more than I love my Silly Little Mister. But God loves His children with an even greater love. A love more pure than we can ever begin to know.