On Friday morning when my kiddos and I were picking up breakfast at Chick fil a, I happened to see something in the drive-thru line that took me back in my memory probably 23 years. What was it? It was a Honda Odyssey, with a really large extension ladder strapped to the roof. In the back we could see tools and supplies. The man driving was clearly planning to do some construction work.
With one glance at that van, I was 16 again, standing in the driveway with my dad. I remember it like it was yesterday. I didn’t have my orange ’69 pinto yet, and so I depended on my parents’ vehicles to get me where I needed to go. At the time, my dad was self employed doing a wide variety of small construction projects for people.
Unfortunately, at 16 I did not care one iota that my dad was working hard to provide for us. In my tiny, selfish teenager world, all I cared about was, well, me. And so, there in the driveway, I was begging my dad to please unload the back of his station wagon of all of his tools and supplies so that I didn’t have to carry them around town with me. Obviously, driving a car with tools in the back was humiliating. But, my dad didn’t unload the car. He said to me with a bit of frustration, “Melody, It’s my work car!” and he went inside.
That was it. He offered no explanation, and I didn’t deserve one. That day I had to drive my dad’s work car in all of it’s glory. But, I wasn’t nice about it. My focus was on me and my reputation instead of the bigger picture.
That year when my dad had found himself between pastoral positions, he worked so hard to provide for us. Long, grueling hours of back-breaking work. He was helping people, sometimes senior citizens, or others who might not be able to afford a “big-time” contractor to do the work. What he was doing was good. What he was doing was very valuable. It was my expectation that was inappropriate in the situation.
As an adult, I find myself still living life this way. I let His world and His will shrink to insignificant status, and I let my own desires get enormous. Simply – when the Heavenly Father doesn’t answer a request the way I think He should, I question His goodness. If He is not doing things my way, I question: Is He still good? What if I’m embarrassed by His response to my request?
Sometimes I’m not privy to His entire big picture. But that doesn’t matter – and He isn’t obligated to me. What is required is my faith in Him. I can be absolutely confident, my Heavenly Father is always doing good, bringing His Great Story to pass in the World. That may not be the same as me getting my way. But He is always at work, and it is always right, just and perfect.