Good or Best.

I love tomatoes.  To me, not many foods compare.  I can eat them plain, on a sandwich, with eggs, with cheese, with salt and pepper, on a piece of bread….you get the idea. There is something about a tomato that makes all food better.  You will never look in my fridge and not see multiple kinds of tomatoes waiting for their next assignment.  I love them.

 

That passion drove my family to the grocery store last night.  One of my favorite things to eat with tomatoes is a turkey and cheese sandwich and we were out of tomatoes.  I looked at Eddie before we exited our car and simply said, “Let’s make this quick.”  We went inside and ended up leaving with a whole cart full of stuff that we forgot we needed.  While inside hunting for the perfect tomato Grace recommended some ice cream.  I obliged and went the extra mile getting both of my squealing children ice cream cones and caramel syrup.  As we drove home the car was filled with chatter about the ice cream sundaes that were sure to ensue AFTER, of course, our sandwiches stuffed with tomatoes.

 

We ate.  Jude was the first one finished an looked at me with those beautiful blue eyes and asked so politely for a “Little Debbie” cake.  I reminded him about the ice cream and he said that he had changed his mind and wanted the little debbie cake.  Eddie reminded him of the ice cream, and posed the question, “Are you sure?”  Jude, almost annoyed that we would even asked repeated once again, “I really want the little debbie cake, instead of the ice cream.”  To which, we both said, “Alright.”  After the rest of us were finished I brought out the ice cream goodness and was busy making sundaes for the three of us.  Jude was watching closely.  He saw me scoop a huge portion for Grace as she waited patiently for me to be finished.  He watched as we let her have more cherries than normal on her ice cream sundae.  He watched as she dug in for the first time and exclaimed to the world, “THIS IS SOOOOOOO GOOD.”  He watched.

 

He finally looked at his dad and slid the poor little debbie cake over to him and said, “I was just kidding, I actually want ice cream.”  When Eddie gave a hearty, “UMMMMMM, NO, we warned you that if you chose the Little Debbie, you wouldn’t get the ice cream.”

We had a sad little boy on our hands.

 

One of the phrases that we say all the time in our house is, “Good is always enemy of the best.”  Eddie and I knew that the ice cream would be way better than Jude’s choice, however, Jude didn’t believe us, and suffered the consequences of getting the good and not waiting for the best.

 

Circumstances may be different, but I know that this is not too far off from where you or I have been.  Throughout the entire Bible God tells us clearly things like….

 

Matthew 6:33
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

or maybe

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

or even

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

or potentially

John 15:11
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

However, most of us are NOT living out our Christian lives experiencing our desires, hope and dreams fulfilled, because WE HAVE CHOSEN TO SETTLE.  Our enemy has been the good when we could have received the best.

My question to you today is, Do you believe God?  An amazing life full of crazy awesome things is waiting, God is telling you not to choose the Little Debbie when you could have the entire ICE CREAM SUNDAE.  Won’t you choose today to live a life that settles for nothing except the extraordinary.  God promised it, even if it requires a wait on your part.

I used to hate to wait.

There is not much I wouldn’t do for my blonde-haired blue-eyed girl.  She embodies life, and emotion in such a way that is electric.  In the morning she greets me and Eddie with a “good morning, beautiful mommy” or a “good morning, handsome daddy.”  She is in kindergarten and about 3p everyday I am in the pickup line and excitedly await the joy she will bring to the rest of my day.  She never disappoints when she climbs in the car and begins her little stories of the day.  She is always a leader is some capacity in her class.  From line leader to bathroom monitor she accepts her responsibility with the utmost sincerity and exercises her freedom with passion.  I have seen her develop so much this past year.  It’s amazing to watch her grow into a young lady.  Her vocabulary has changed, she has learned to read, and embraced a new normal.  I am so proud of her.

Last week there was a elementary dance at her school.  I knew of the dance only from the thousands of announcement sheets that are sent home with her.  I looked at it briefly, but coming out of a crazy season with The Blush Network, I knew that Eddie and I would want to rest this weekend.  Our family went on a walk on tuesday night and a nice man stopped us and was very interested in Grace.  I didn’t think much about it because we had met him before, and he has a lovely family.  The next day Eddie got a phone call from him.  He was so kind, but very direct in asking if it would be ok for him and his wife to pick Grace up and take her to the dance to accompany their son.  Did I mention she is in Kindergarten?

Eddie immediately called me and told me of the situation.  He asked me what I thought, and believe me I didn’t hesitate and gave a definitive “NO”.

Eddie and I didn’t say no to the opportunity because of the family or even the circumstance.  We said no because it was premature. She needs to wait for this type of event until time and maturity permits

I have had many conversations with people lately on the subject of waiting.  Waiting is so difficult.  It plays on all securities and confidences, it always lends to the temptation of quitting.  Funny thing though, that’s why I believe God has us do it.  It is the one thing that can purify motives, thought processes, and change our attitudes without a single event happening. It makes us build our faith in such a way that when an actual event in favor of the thing you are waiting presents, you run at it with reckless abandon.  Waiting makes you appreciate the thing when it comes.  Waiting prepares you in ways that you don’t even know you need to be prepared for.  Waiting is part of the process for anything great.

As Grace’s mom, I look at her and know what’s ahead of her.  I love her enough to know that she needs me to protect her from things that are just too premature for her.  That is my job.

 

I think of God looking at my life.  I think of the times that I have had to wait. I’ve hated each of them for a while.  In the process, I didn’t understand the wisdom that went into forcing me to purify my heart, and solidify God direct call in my life.  It’s also so amazing to me what He was preparing that I didn’t see.  I got tunnel vision so many times thinking of my despair while waiting for something, that I totally forgot that God had to work out the circumstances in peoples hearts and emotions that I didn’t see.  I wonder if He got angry with me being so impatient, when He knew what was just ahead, and the benefit the wait would be.

The great thing about waiting is that one day your wait will be over.  Waiting is only for a season.  If that ends with eternity or the answer to a prayer, waiting only lasts for a season.  The waiting will end, then what?

My personality is to do it myself.  I am definitely a go-getter. There have been many times that I have jumped WAY ahead of God just to reap destruction.  I couldn’t even count the amount of times that I sat regretting my decision to act, when God clearly said wait.  His timing is perfect, and the safest route.  When we choose to wait on Him as oppose to make it happen on our own there are no bad consequences.  He doesn’t punish, He is freed up to bless and there is no blessing like His.

 

May we be thankful in the season of the wait. If we wait gracefully we get the opportunity to please God.

 

Hebrews 6:15

And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal

 

Galatians 6:9

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

 

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD

 

Psalm 130:5-6

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Do You CLING

Last week Eddie was out of town and for the first time in a while, it was me, by myself, with my kiddos for a few days.  I have to say, I was enjoying having my undivided attention on Grace and Jude.  I took a break from working for a few days to fully enjoy the alone time with my kiddos.  I had asked the kids what they wanted me to make for supper one night.  Grace chimed in first to say that she hadn’t had my lasagna in a while, Jude followed suit and before you know it I was listening to a duet of “We want lasagna, we want lasagna”.  So, after I dropped Grace at school Jude and I headed to get the ingredients.  When we got home, I quickly made the lasagna so Jude and I could play some ball before he had to take a nap.  I was just about done with the dish and Jude couldn’t wait for me to finish.  He wanted to go outside right then.  I told him to go ahead outside and wait for me.  He ran out with the ball and bat in his hand anxious for me to follow as soon as I could.

About two minutes later I hear a squeal unlike a squeal I have heard before and I see Jude’s little spiked hair as he runs around the bar to where I was standing.  His cries were desperate, his eyes were wide and completely terrified.  In an instant I was trying to figure out the problem, he couldn’t speak, just scream.  As I frantically looked him over, I saw a large amount of fire ants around his ankles and all over his shoes.  Without another second, I stripped him as quick as possible and put him in the sink. In about .7 seconds I had washed all the ants off of his legs and we were surveying the damage.  After calling the doctor about what to do, and getting her assurance that a visit to see her wasn’t necessary I smothered his little ankles with cortisone cream, and held my little man for a while.

Even now, when I think of Jude’s face, it makes me emotional.  He ran to me, in the midst of his urgency trusting that I would know how to help him.  He didn’t care about being scolded earlier in the day, or that he might of been upset with me about giving Grace a piece of candy for helping and he didn’t get one.  At the point of his crisis, he was clinging to the fact that he knew I would help, no matter what.

In Joshua’s farewell address in Joshua 23:8 he tells the children of Israel this,

But you are to CLING to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.

The use of the word cling in this passage is captivating.  In one of Joshua’s last statements his charge was to cling.  The children of Israel knew what it was like to be hopeless.  They knew that in some of the situations they were faced with without God’s utter might, they would have been completely wiped out as a nation.  They recognized desperation, and they knew Who their Deliverer was.  Even still, Joshua said “cling”.

Why did he give this charge?  Because Joshua knew how easily they wandered from the Lord.  He knew the temptation for them to rely on themselves, when there was not impending danger.

Isn’t it so true that in a panicky moment like Jude and the fire ants, or news from the doctor, or a pink slip at work, or a letter that you get in your mail, or wondering where the money is going to come from to pay the mortgage, we CLING to the Lord.  Clinging in rough times seems so natural because we need a Savior.  Then there are days when we just get paid, and the kids are behaving, or we get a promotion, and we are just doing well that we tend to forget where those blessings come from. We slack in reading our bibles and praying because we are doing ok without it. When things are good, sometimes God is the farthest thing from our mind. Why is that?  He is the same God, and worthy of the same adoration.

If you are doing well, it isn’t because you are super smart or got it all together, it because God is blessing you. He loves you so much that He wants to bless you, just like you love to bless you children.  Don’t forget in the great times in your life to praise Him for his goodness, and have the attitude of still being desperate for Him.

King David in the Psalms is the perfect example of CLINGING to the Lord.  He knew when times were bad that God was HIs only hope, and when times were amazing God was the only reason.

I leave you with this.

Psalm 107:1

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.