Tonight God taught me something through my beautiful daughter.
As we were getting ready for bedtime, she was starting to get tired and hungry. Her bottle sat on our nightstand, and as I changed her diaper, I laid it down beside her. Even though it was empty, all she knew is that she was hungry, so she reached for it. When I took it away, my little angel turned into a tiny little diva kicking her little legs and crying out to Mommy in total agony. Never mind the fact she had eaten just an hour before.
(Can you imagine this little thing throwing a temper tantrum?)
I couldn't help but think it was cute. I'm sorry super moms. She's just so tiny and when she kicks her little legs like that, I just can't even.... Anyways, while I was making her bottle, I was trying to show her that Mommy was putting milk in there, but she wouldn't have it. She wouldn't listen to one word I was saying, all she knew was she was hungry and her Mommy dangled that bottle in her face just to tease her. My baby girl wasn't satisfied until she had her bottle full to the brim and her belly happy.
Instantly it made me think, how many times have I thrown a temper tantrum when God took something away? You see, I took her empty bottle to fill it to the brim for her. I replaced what was empty (even though she loved it) and gave her something better, a bottle full of yummy milk. Likewise, when God takes something from us, we sometimes get upset and confused.
The reason God takes anything away from us is because He is going to replace it with something better.
When we devote our hearts to God and ask for his protection over our lives, He will hold up His end of the bargain. Anything that is not good for us or not His timing has to go. He never takes away things to hurt us. So often we forget, "He makes ALL things work together for our good." Instead we are blinded by the visible circumstances.
We get angry at God, yet we don't know what He is doing behind the scenes. Or sometimes we hear his voice, but we are kicking and screaming so loud that we drown out his voice and refuse to listen. I know I've done it so many times in my own life.
I remember when I was a teenage girl, I thought my life was over when things didn't work out the way I wanted them too with a boy. I had this friend who was about 4 years older than me whom I looked up too, she was my role model. She told me a story that has stuck with me to this day.
This story is called The Pearl Necklace, the author is anonymous.
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.
"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath.
Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.
One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night."
And he brushed her cheek with a kiss. About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my babydoll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you."
And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss. A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver,she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.
He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.
This story struck home for me. It made me realize that God really does work all things together for my good, just like Romans 8:28 says.
I used to think that God would keep things from me because I didn't deserve it, or just because. But when we open our hearts to let God's love in, we then realize He loves us in the most remarkable way. I am his little girl, and He is my Daddy. Just like I took away my baby girl's bottle to fill it up, God never takes anything away without replacing it with something better. We may think it's the best thing in the world at the time, not knowing that someday that one thing or person could potentially destroy us.
I will say it again. God's intention is to work all things together for our good, because He loves us.
He wants His sons and daughters to hold onto Him and to trust Him, no matter what the answer may be to life's questions. We have to hold onto Him, knowing that if He says No, it is either not good for us, not the right time, or that God wants to replace it with something better.
The good thing is we don't have to walk this journey alone, we have our Heavenly Father looking out for us, always seeking our good. He has plans to prosper you, to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE. If you read the word of God, you will see how God purposes for his children to live a life full of our cup running over.
Today I want to encourage you to hold onto Jesus. Trust His plan for your life. He always has your best in mind, that is something you can put your trust in.
"And we know that in ALL things, God works together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future."
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."