We went to the grocery store yesterday and Michaela went about her usual routine, picking things off the shelf and throwing it into the cart.
She does it with a straight face, without asking first, without a doubt that we will buy anything she points to or picks out -- toys, colorful cereal boxes, candy. When I tell her she can't have something, she doesn't even flinch, she keeps right on with her "shopping," like Michael and I are just along for the ride.
The sad thing is, she usually gets whatever she wants. Her daddy is a big sucker, and she knows it.
When I was her age, I wouldn't have dreamed of acting so forward. My mom always read us the riot act before we even went in the store: "Don't touch anything. Don't look at anything. Don't even open your mouth like you might ask for anything. If you act a fool, I will, too."
And that was that. There were 11 of us and I remember people used to stare at us -- all marching like ducklings behind my mom -- and tell their kids to take notes. We used to be horrified by the sight of other kids running around and touching things. Sometimes, my mom would lean forward and say "Don't get any ideas."
But while I am sometimes appalled by Michaela's sense of entitlement, there's something admirable about it. She approaches things with purpose, with expectation, with authority and confidence. There's no tantrum, and no debate. If I say no, she looks at her daddy and puts it in the cart anyway.
Oh, to have that sort of confidence in God! To ask for something, to pray for something, then sit back and wait for it to happen, fully confident that in due time, it will. To point out what I want to God and walk away knowing it's mine.
It reminds me of a song by gospel singer Jonathan Nelson, Expect the Great. Some of the lyrics:
Expect nothing but victory
That's the promise of our king
To do exceedingly, abundantly
Above what you ask or think
In other words, God is able to do anything, far more than what our little minds could imagine to ask for. The Bible tells us:
In Matthew 7:7 -- Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
In Psalms 37:4 -- Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
In Mark 11:24 -- Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
You can't get a better guarantee than that.
Yes, somethings we want aren't good for us and God is working on our best interest when he doesn't oblige. And sometimes, we have to be patient.
But it's in his nature -- heck, it's in his contract with us -- to provide for us. We are the king's children. We are the head and not the tail, the lender and not the borrower.
So today, let us learn not to beg, borrow or worry. Let's tell God exactly what we want, and like Michaela, walk on like it's already done.
Expect the great!