My son became really frustrated with me this evening. It didn’t last for very long, but I could sense that he was upset. He is three years old so this kind of thing happens every day, but this time made me think a little more than other times. You have experienced the same scenerio when you were a child. A bully on the playground triggered the incident.
Today, I decided to take my son to our favorite park. It is fun to watch him let loose and play in an unstructured situation. This time was a little different. At one point in time, he wanted to climb to the highest level of the playground and slide down his favorite curly slide. Normally, I would help him get up there and watch him slide down…this time I didn’t let him go up there. This made him upset because he really wanted to play. I told him he needs to go on another slide for now. You can imagine that conversation did not go well. I pulled him aside and gave him an explanation about why I was preventing him from climbing to the top….There was a bully only feet away from us. He understood and calmed down.
As we were playing in other areas of this park, I had observed this child (maybe 5 or 6) kicking and pushing other kids down the various pieces of equipment. In fact, there was one time when my son was going down one of the slides and he was briefly pushed by the same child. This rubbed me the wrong way…and it also upset some other children.
I wanted to keep him from getting hurt and learning terrible behavior, so I simply waited until the child left and let him continue to play as he wanted. When this bully exited the park I allowed him to explore the full extent of the play equipment.
We experience similar situations daily. God tells us no, or wait, or do something else, and we start to throw a tantrum because we want what we desire and we want it now. God, in His awesome sovereignty, may have set up boundaries in our lives temporarily to steer us away from danger or to guard our hearts. But, sometimes we want to keep barreling through and collect regrets like they are rare coins. As we learn to trust God more we learn to thank Him for unanswered prayers as much as ones fulfilled.
Trust God today. Trust Him in the waiting and in the activity.