Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tales From a Stay-At-Home Mom: "You Can't Always Get What You Want..."

"But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need..."  There's actually some wisdom in that old Rolling Stones song.  Obviously, we are better off sometimes with what we need rather than with what we want, but that doesn't mean we're not very disillusioned in the process (which is a repeated theme in the song).  Ending up with what you need instead of what you want doesn't exactly make a person happy.  In fact, it's frustrating - and in some instances - infuriating.  That's why this is one of my favorite lines in the song: "And I went down to the demonstration/to get my fair share of abuse/Singing 'We're gonna vent our frustration/if we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse'".  I can relate.  When I don't get what I want, I want to vent my frustration or blow some body's ears out trying.  The problem I encounter at that point is that it's God's ears that I'm usually trying to blow out, and that never ends well for me.

God has never answered any of my "why" questions.  Ever.  Probably for good reason (not that the Creator of the Universe ever needs a reason).  That doesn't make it any easier for me to swallow, however, because when I don't get what I want, my first round of ear-splitting whining usually begins with "WHY NOT?  Why me?  Why does SHE get such and such and I don't?"  The voice in my head that God hears must sound worse than my four-year-old sounds to me on her most whiny of days.  So not only am I acting ungrateful at that point, but I quickly reveal my covetousness and the horrid sense of entitlement that I harbor in my heart.  Who in the world do I think I am to act that way?  To say those things to a loving God who sent His Son to suffer and die for MY sins?  Nine times out of ten, I don't stop there, though, even when I know I'm in deep and see humbling repentance on the horizon.  Just like a rebellious child, I plant my feet, cross my arms and turn my face away from the only one who can make my frustration dissipate.  "I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do....I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out...What a wretched [wo]man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:15, 18, 24-25).

It's hard to repeatedly ask God for something and repeatedly see the opposite of that prayer occur.  If we could see the future, we'd all probably whine a lot less when we receive what we need as opposed to what our hearts desire.  The most difficult thing for me to get over is the sense of hurt that I feel when I "think" I'm asking for bread but getting stones instead.  The conclusion that I have to arrive at is that God knows my motives for asking what I ask, and my motives are most likely not as innocent as I would like to believe they are.  I am a sinful being with sinful desires that I often justify as needs.  So my motives might be one reason that I can't always get what I want.  Another reason is that God sees the tapestry of my life in finished form, while I only see the ragged ends of the yarn poking out the back in crazy patterns that don't make sense to me.  God always, always knows what is best, no matter what it looks like from my lowly, human perspective.  Remembering these things always brings the shepherd King, David, to mind, who certainly did not always get what he wanted. His words echo in my heart: "O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O LORD...All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be...Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  (Psalm 139:1-4, 16, 23-24).

No comments:

Post a Comment