And they’ll come back and say, “Well, what can I have?”
And then I try to think of all the things in the kitchen that we have to eat, and then what they’ve probably already ate that day, and I try to come up with what in the world they might have for a snack and all of this is exhausting so I ask again…
Well, what do you want?”
“Well, what can I have?”
And then I’ll make a decision. “You can have an apple or a peanut butter sandwich.”
“Can I have something else?”
“No, I have decided…” I’m getting tired of this and as a parent my word is supposed to be the end of it so I say…”that’s it. Those are your choices.”
And then they are frustrated. They obviously don’t want either choice.
Well, after several rounds of this it occurred to me that they knew what they wanted the whole time. They wanted ice cream. Why didn’t they just say that? Why didn’t they ask me for ice cream? Because they knew that wasn’t the “right” answer. That isn’t the “good thing” they are supposed to want, so they were reluctant to ask for it.
But you know, I probably would have let them have ice cream… at least some of the times… because what is life without a little ice cream?
I was so frustrated with them, until I realized that whenever I am that frustrated with someone (looking at the speck in their eye) I should probably turn and look at myself (plank in my own eye – Matthew 7.)
Do I do what they are doing? Do I pray, not really asking for what I want because I am afraid that it isn’t the “right” or “good” answer? Should I just start being more honest about what I really want in prayer?
I read about David being pretty forthright and honest in the Psalms, and God doesn’t seem to shrink back from it. I get the impression that God can take it. And, I believe that God is good and if what I request is bad for me, like a good Dad, he is going to correct me.
Prayer is a time for me to be honest with myself and with God. What do I really want? What is really bothering me? What do I really need? The Holy Spirit searches our hearts and can help us “really” pray… the truth is, unlike me with my kids, God my Father already knows what I “really” desire… and what the “good” thing is that I need, and he does not withhold good things from his kids. He might even let me have ice cream once in a while.
"All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you."