Naptime is typically drama-free with my daughter. She has always been the type of child to crawl in her bed, give you a hug and a kiss on each cheek and be out as soon as the lights are off. Yesterday, though, I spent the first hour of naptime consoling, resisting negotiations, and keeping my patience in check.
At the beginning of nap, she laid down just fine, but within fifteen minutes I could hear her over the monitor and she was full on bawling. Of course, I headed upstairs to see what was going on. Inbetween sobs, she explained that she wanted her pink blanket. And not just any pink blanket, either. The very same pink blanket that she had just negotiated to trade with her brother so that she could have his blue polka dotted blanket. It wasn't an easy sell. How many five year old big brothers would be willing to trade their awesome blue blanket for a pink blanket? It took some doing, but he (as usual) was willing to make her happy and made the trade.
However...the pink blanket was, at that moment, wrapped up with big brother and he was in his bed asleep. Which I told her. And you can guess what happened next. We tried to talk it out, we tried to hug it out, I tried laying down with her for a minute but to no avail. It was as if she had just received the news of the demise of her best friend. Or that Chick-fil-a had closed or something. To put it simply, there was a whole lot of really loud crying going on. And she was even starting to get angry that she couldn't get what she wanted!
This story ends pretty well...sort of. Her crying woke her brother up, who understood the situation (and his sister) enough to bring her the blanket. While I was glad to see her settled down, I really was concerned by the message that was sent: If you cry loud enough and long enough, you'll eventually get what you want.
Is that really what I want to teach her? Absolutely not. And it made me think...this is exactly how God teaches us. Sometimes we cry long and loud for what we want, only to be left with an unanswered prayer. But these are the times that God teaches us the most. It's hard and it hurts, but it's for a good reason.
So I'm just reflecting back today...what have been the pink blankets in my life? Which ones were never made available to me? What did I learn from that? Which ones did I cry out for and eventually receive? What was the lesson in waiting? And who did God use to give them to me?
Only God can put together puzzle pieces like mine and make them fit perfectly.
Check out this great sermon clip from Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC:
What To Do When God Doesn't Come Through