Friday, October 15, 2010


Lately, Libbi has been saying, "please" for everything.  She thinks that if she says, "please" (complete with head nod and pleading eyes) then she is entitled to whatever it is that she wants.  She will walk up to the receiver for the telephone and say, "please" then expectantly wait for someone to hand her the phone.  She'll find my necklace around my neck and after a quick, "please" assume that I will hand it over.  If we have a drink or any type of food (it makes no difference if she actually likes it!) she is right there with her wide eyes and cute little, "please!" 

And, oh the heartbreak when her "please" just isn't enough.  She is completely crushed when we have to tell her, "no."  After all, isn't please supposed to be one of the "magic words?"  Aren't we supposed to make a request followed by a sweet little please and in turn get what we want? I know I'm guilty of having that mindset.  How often do I come to the Lord asking, "please...?" Please do this or please do that.  Please give us this or give us that.  Please show me this or show me that.....

Just like Libbi waits expectantly after she voices her request, I too, often ask of the Lord and then wait expectantly for his response.  Most times, because I voiced my request and because I said "please," I expect His answer to be nothing other than, "yes!" But, many times, that's not the case.  There are times that His answer is "no."  While I may experience the heartbreak and the disappointment that comes with "No" (complete with my own form of pouting and/or tantrums) ultimately, it is for my own good.  

When I tell Libbi "no" (no matter how sweetly she asks or how many times she says, "please") it's not because I don't love her or even because I don't want her to experience something that she may enjoy.  It's because I know of consequences that she does not.  I can see the bigger picture while she is stuck in the here and now.  Yes, I know that she would love to use our phone and push every button on it.  I know that she would have a grand ole time pretending to make calls and hearing the beeping of each number she presses, BUT....I also know that she could call someone unintentionally, she could leave the phone off the hook while someone was trying to reach us, or she could damage the phone (and her teeth!) because as much as she loves pushing buttons, she equally loves chewing on them.

As much as she would love to wear my beaded necklace and as cute as she would look in it, I tell her "no" when she asks.  It's not that I don't want her to have fun or to enjoy "things", it's just that I am looking out for her safety in ways that she cannot understand.  While the necklace may look cute, I also know that it is a major choking hazard.  Something which she couldn't possibly understand at this point in her life, and unfortunately, she probably won't for many years :)  

Just like I thought my parents were completely ridiculous when I was in high school, I'm sure Libbi will feel the same about us one day.  I remember how I would beg to go to certain parties or people's houses and my parents' answer was always, "no." I thought for sure they were just mean and didn't want me to have friends or be popular or whatever, but I know now that they said "no" because they loved me and wanted to protect me.  My parents cared more about protecting my character, my reputation, my self-worth, and my fragile teenage heart than they did about me having a good time for one night.  As a teenage girl, that was something that I couldn't possibly understand, but thankfully, I had parents that did.  Parents who loved me enough to tell me, "no."  They saw the bigger picture when I could not.  

Isn't it the same way when we ask something of the Lord?  I know it is for me.  I ask and I pray and I wait expectantly, but sometimes the answer is still, "no."  While I may initially be disappointed, I eventually come to realize that just like I love Libbi and tell her "no" out love and protection, just like my parents told me "no" while I was growing up, He is doing the same thing for me.  He sees the bigger picture.  He knows how decisions will effect my life in ways that I am just not capable of knowing.   When God says, "no" it's not to punish me, it's to protect me.  While my motives may be selfish and/or self-seeking, His ways are never anything but pure.    Does that mean I should stop asking?  No....but it does mean that just like I expect Libbi to accept my "no", I also have to be willing to accept His.  Easier said than done.....but, not impossible. ;)

There have been times in my life when the Lord's answer was, "no" and while it hurt at the time, looking back I can see how he was protecting me from a hurt that would have been much, much worse.  Other times, the answer has been "no" and to this day I still don't understand why, but I do know that it was for the protection of my heart.  I hope that one day Libbi will understand that the reason we have to say, "no" is because we love her and want to protect from things that she can't see.  I pray that I will be strong enough to say "no" when I need to and that I won't give in out of fear. I pray that I will thank God when he says, "no" just as much as I do when he says, "yes," because ultimately, He always knows best.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways," 
declares the LORD.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are my ways higher than your ways 
and my thoughts than your thoughts
Isaiah 55:8-9

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