Imagine a child who wakes up early one morning and runs out to play. The child’s mother lovingly looks at the clock and notes that she knows her child will be in the house, well spent and hungry in a few hours. She asks the house help to prepare a feast, with the child’s every delight, and set it aside in a separate room for the hour her child will come running into the house.
The mother lovingly watches her daughter play. Sure enough at the appointed hour, the child comes running into the house, spent and hungry. She looks around the empty room and puzzlement fills her face. Where is lunch? The child wonders, looking at her mother’s adoring eyes. Her mother smiles as she waits to hear her child’s sweet voice, to no avail. The child is hungry and mentally figures that lunch is not ready, she may as well go back outside and play.
This silent interaction takes place a few more times, with each ticking minute of the clock. The child comes back into the house, hungrier and angrier, to an empty room. The mother lovingly waits for the child’s sweet voice, and instead receives a cold, accusing, and angry reception. Do you not see how hungry I am mother? The child’s face and demeanor seem to say.
Finally the child opens her mouth and lets loose a cannon of angry abuse:
What kind of a mother would let her child starve like this? Why is it that the other children went home and received their meals without a problem and yet here, I have to come in and go out of the house and it is still empty of my meal? Why would you not have my meal prepared for me, and yet you know how hungry I get, and what hour I come in to eat. What kind of sick game is this? Who would do this to a child, and what kind of a mother are you!
The mother takes in a deep breath, and swallows her anger, even as her eyes blaze for a few moments. She knows that if she allows what she can, she will ask that the elegant feast waiting in the other room be put away, and a slice of bread be brought out for the insolent child. She knows that her daughter is hungry enough to eat the bread. That lesson however, is not for today. The mother who knows exactly why her daughter is angry will teach her in another way today. In spite of herself, she lovingly searches her daughter’s face, looking at the eyes that resemble her own, the beautiful furrows across the forehead supposed to signify anger, the special turn of the mouth her daughter has gotten from her. She knows her daughter well, for her daughter came from her.
Good morning and afternoon to you too, that you forget I feed you before I eat. Who woke you up this morning to play? Who fed and clothed you before you left the house to join your friends? Were you watching yourself with me here, where I can make sure that you are safe? Do you pay and provide for the food you order as though entitled just because you are my child? Did you want a slice of bread, or the feast that I have made? Do I not know my child, and what is best? Do you know your mother, and how to please her heart with thanks?
At the mother’s command, the house help pulls back the curtains to the room in which all manner of food lies. It is a remarkable sight and the child’s eyes grow rounder at what lies spread on the table. She feels elated and proud, already thinking of what she will tell her friends she had to eat, for her mother has prepared a very special meal for her today. On the table are foods that the child has longingly looked at in the supermarket, secretly craved. Her mouth drops and she continuously swallows the saliva that will not stop building up, ready to moisten the food specially prepared for her. In awe, the child turns and looks at her mother, whose eyes quickly shut her mouth up in shame.
Gone are the flames of fury replaced by that loving adoring look mother reserves for child. She feels utterly shamed, thinking of her behavior and all the things her mother has said. She does not feel so hungry anymore, imagining how hurting her behavior and words must have been to the woman who gave her life, and simply waited to hear a sweet voice, not demanding one, say:
Good morning, good afternoon, thank you for breakfast, thank you for the day. I am hungry; I just came in from some active play. I was wondering what you had prepared for me, for lunch. I look forward to your meals, because you always seem to know what I like and either way, I am grateful mother that you do this for me. For the food I am about to receive, I thank you in advance.
These words are not impossible for the child to say, for her mother has taught her over the years how to be grateful, to have faith. How to believe that her mother loves her more than anything, and even though she does not completely and always know her ways, can trust that what is being prepared, is always good. The child knows that she has these words in her, because she sometimes says them, and today, like all those other days she simply chose not to, gave in to anger and hunger instead. Her mother lets her adoring and loving eyes shame her child, who in humble gratitude turns to sit and eat the feast prepared for her.
God is no different. In all areas of our lives, in all our wants and desires, before we ask, He knows them first. When we believe and we do not, He sees that first. It is not enough to say I do not have faith, I am only human, but it is enough to make headway each time with each event. Why is it that we vow not to make the same mistakes with our jobs and yet proceed to do so with our God? Is it because we take His swallowing of anger for granted, and figure that since nothing has really happened to us, we may proceed on with displeasing behavior? Why test His wrath when all it takes is applying the same rules of effort that we do to the material world, to our above material God?
Because we are alive and living, we are destined to come across trials and tribulations. We would not know that we are alive unless we felt something, and things and people are destined to make us feel something. We however, can choose whether to accept behaviors and vices that keep us from having a closer and trusting relationship with God, by stating that we are human and bound to fail, or comparing our flaws with others, which is sure to make ours seem very small in comparison. This last part is subjective, for the individual you are looking and comparing against, probably thinks the very same thing about you! There will always be lesser and greater people than ourselves. This does not matter, for our relationship has two beings only, us, and our God. Anything and everything else is immaterial.
Like the example given above, think how much easier it would get over time, to be grateful and have faith in what is to come. We know that we are going to receive because it will not be the first time in our lives that good things have happened to us. It will not be the first time in our lives that sets of very interesting coincidences have worked out for us. In these times, we are quick to praise God, quick to forget as soon as reality checks in the next day. Do we not forget that like yesterday, the same God will provide for today? Do we not remember that the same God who created us knows our needs better than we do, and if we stick to the plan, will simply be Amazed?