One day, not long ago, Eva wanted to play basketball outside in the driveway. At the time, though, there was something going on in the neighborhood. There were several state troopers outside on the street. One actually had a gun drawn.
Yes, this is a real story.
Anyway, Eva didn’t see the cops, thankfully. And I didn’t want to scare her, so I didn’t tell her they were there. I just told her she couldn’t go out to play basketball right now.
And she was NOT happy.
Now, to get the full scope of this story, you have to think of this situation from Eva’s point of view.
Eva LOVES basketball. It had been raining nonstop for a billion days and it was finally sunny. The basketball hoop was a birthday present, at which time we told her, “You can play anytime you want.” Not to mention, she and I had JUST had a conversation the night before about how important exercise and sunshine is for your immune system.
So, in Eva’s mind, going outside to play basketball was a good thing. It was something I had encouraged her to do, something she loved to do, and something that was good for her to do. It seemed like a win-win. And yet, I told her she couldn’t do it.
Naturally, she couldn’t understand. I mean, she wasn’t supposed to be doing anything else. We weren’t leaving to go anywhere. And all of her chores were finished. (She worked soooo hard! ) To her, there was absolutely no reason why she couldn’t go out to play basketball.
So she was really — REALLY —frustrated. But I couldn’t tell her why she couldn’t go out. She already struggles with anxiety. So her fear of knowing why would have been much worse than the anger of not knowing why.
So I let her be mad. I let her cry. I let her tell me it didn’t make sense. And I even let her tell me I didn’t care about her happiness. (Yes, she went there. Lol.)
While she was throwing her little temper tantrum, my husband went outside to survey the scene and make sure everything was okay.
Eventually the cops left the neighborhood (I still have no idea why they were there or what happened). We waited a little while longer just to be sure things were really ok. Then we finally told her she could go outside.
Guys. She was ecstatic! You should have seen her! She was in her glory, playing her little heart out. She was a sweaty, dirty mess, and she was loving every single minute of it.
Later, as I prayed about the day, God showed me that I’m just like Eva.
You see, I’d been asking God if I could do something — something good, that I know He has called me to. Something I know is inline with His will and is good for my spiritual health and that of others.
But that “something” hadn’t happened yet. It was like He had been preventing it or something. Like He called me to it, then just stalled and left me hanging.
So, like Eva, I’ve been kind of frustrated. Truth be told, I’ve been throwing a little temper tantrum in my prayers, whining about how this doesn’t make sense.
Then God told me I’m acting like Eva. Because, well, He’s a good, good Father.
Immediately I knew what He meant. He meant that I don’t understand everything going on right now behind the scenes. He meant that He couldn’t explain it to me either. He meant that I just have to trust His love for me—and trust His timing.
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3)
The problem is, I’m not good at waiting. I wanted to know how long it would take. But God wouldn’t tell me that either.
“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7)
The whole thing was quite humbling, actually. I’m always preaching how good God is and how perfect His will is. I’m always praying, “Jesus I trust in you.”
But do I, really?
When my prayers didn’t materialize immediately—like the “poof!” of a magic hat—I started doubting and fretting. I started acting like an 8 year old who couldn’t go outside to play.
Why? Well, because my trust was shaky. My faith was weak. And God knew it. That’s why He’s been making me wait.
Real trust and real faith are tested during times of waiting. They’re perfected during that part of the spiritual journey when you’re just walking.
It may seem like nothing is happening during those times, but I really think those are the times when the MOST is happening. Those are the times when Our Father is surveying the scene, taking care of things, doing battle for us, making sure everything is ok.
All we have to do is trust Him. And wait.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him…” (Lamentations 3:25)
Eventually we’ll get the “okay” to step out into the promise, into the glory.
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Kind of like a hot, sweaty 8 year old finally shootin’ hoops.