Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Take the No for the Yes

Two years ago, yesterday, God rocked our world by clearly saying "No" to our great plans for this time period between retiring and going back to school. There were a lot of emotions processing the end of our dream, what we had planned for, prepared for, desired, wished for and talked about for the last 8 years.
Two weeks later, we went away for a weekend get away. Both Lukas and Noah love to swim and although it was already hot in our desert town, there were no outdoor pools open. When we checked in to the hotel, the boys quickly spotted the little hotel pool. They were so excited and we were in that pool in record time - from car unloading to swimming: a blink or two! The boys happily played around in the pool, swimming, diving, jumping, splashing, and riding of Daddy's back. It did not matter to them that the pool was small, in their eyes it was perfect. Only the sun setting - making the desert cool again - and very hungry bellies could even begin to persuade them to get out and dry off. "This was the life" as Lukas says.
The next morning, we planned to spend the day at a local water park. The boys woke up, and had their swim shorts on before their sleepy parents had even opened their eyes. 'C'mon Mamma, C'mon Daddy, let's go to the pool....' When we told them we had other plans for the day, the reaction had the resemblances of a nuclear reactor melt down - how could we even think of going some place else, having to get in to the car, when there was a great and fabulous pool right here outside our door. Two very sad, although obedient, children, joined us for breakfast and then got in to the car. The mood certainly was somber. On my inside I was seething, how could they be so ungrateful, so unappreciative, we had these great plans for them, and all they did was whine and complain about not being able to play in the 8x10 pool. Their grumbles turned into singing when they realized where we were going, and what we had planned for them - a full day at a fabulous water park: lots of pools, slides, wave pool, lazy river, more slides, and water play. They squealed with delight and we had a phenomenal day.
The irony of this was not lost on me - the grumbling, whining and complaining that I was doing about our "No" was no better than that of Lukas and Noah. I saw a glimpse of what our Loving Heavenly Father must feel when I kick and scream, protest and argue. I often think about the 'water parks' that God has in store for me if only I am willing to listen and obey. How often have I spent my time in the little pool, when the water park was right there, because I wanted to lead and direct my life?
God's "No" two years ago, lead us to His "Yes" which we are living out right now. Spending four months in Honduras, working with missionaries, learning the language, experiencing the culture, and getting to know some amazing people - that was God's water park for us. I would have gladly given up a much bigger pool for this water park, and I only wish I had done it more graciously, without temper tantrums, whining, complaining, arguing, fretting about and stomping my feet. If I had had it my way, we would have missed this incredible, amazing, wonderful and all around invaluable experience - and all for splashing around in the puny hotel pool.

Beth Moore wrote:
Any "No" an earnestly seeking child of God
receives from the throne is for the sake
of a greater "Yes."

I pray that I will remember this next time God says "No."

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