Recently, I was in the midst of preparing a healthy meal for my family. One by one, my girls came by to peruse my efforts. Each had her own take on the situation.
One stood silently looking, hoping I’d notice her squinting eyes and apprehensive expression. After a minute or so of my ignoring her, she could no longer remain silent: CUCUMBERS? You’re putting CUCUMBERS in that? Another pause … Ewwwww ….
Later, another child walked in. You bought corn on the cob — and you’re cutting it off to put it in THAT? I wanted to eat it on the cob!
The third child finally weighed in after dinner. She set down her plate, announcing in a flat tone: I ate all the zucchini pieces. You’re welcome.
At that point, my tongue did a massage of my tightly closed lips. I was thisclose to saying something, but I didn’t.
Instead, the moment reminded me of something. God, in fact.
Because, hadn’t my kids responded to the meal the same way we (okay, I) often respond to what He sends our way?
We may gripe and complain about the cucumbers in our paths, when they aren’t cucumbers at all. They’re zucchini! Maybe if we embraced the situation, we’d actually like zucchini. Perhaps we shouldn’t complain about trials that we don’t even fully understand.
We may moan about the way God packages our life events. We want our corn on the cob (a full-time job, for instance?) but he wants to send us corn cut off the cob (two part-time positions) instead.
Or perhaps we don’t complain about our situation outright, but we adopt an entitled attitude to our Creator in general: God, I have done this and this and this for you. You’re welcome! Now what will you do for me?
I’ll admit I felt a bit unfairly put-upon that night at dinnertime. I’d spent much of the day shopping for groceries and other items for the family — nothing for myself. And I could have much more easily brought home a fat- and salt-laden fast-food dinner that everyone would have loved. It would have taken very little time, and my own part-time employment that day had left me precious little time to enjoy anything *I* wanted to do. In order to accommodate each family members’ preferences, I had already made separate parts of the meal — some without onions and some without meat. What should I do — just hand out dry tortillas and wish the family good luck with that?
But then, I saw myself being just as ornery as my kids.
Because God didn’t just give up free time for us. He gave His only begotten Son — so we could live eternally with Him! I don’t know about you, but when I look at the human race, I often wonder why He should even care or want us around eternally. We’re not the most appealing lot, many days.
My kids may not have loved dinner the other night. But if they could help me find God in the cucumbers, I suppose it wasn’t a total loss.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust. — Psalm 103:13-14