Our family pet, Alley Cat, has started a weird new habit: she has decided that the garage is her favorite spot in the house. We have no idea how this started, but it is quite comical to see her sit at the garage door and meow to be let out into the garage. There are times that R. H. and I will look at her and just tell her “No.” Sometimes the garage is not a safe place for her. It could be because the garage door is open, or one of us might be leaving or coming home soon and we don’t want her to get hurt by the cars. Now, being a cat, she has no idea what we’re telling her or why we’re telling her no. She’ll just sit by the door and meow some more.
Yesterday, after I answered Alley Cat’s meows with a “No, you will not go into the garage right now,” I was struck by how much this translates into parenting. I know that one day, very soon, I will be telling our little guy “No” for reasons that he will not understand. But as the parent, I know what will be best for him. This is so true in our relationship with God as well. How many times have we cried out, prayed, or begged, God to give us something and the answer is “No”? We may never know why the answer is “No,” but God is our father and He knows what’s best for us.
It is very hard and sometimes even maddening to be told “No” in my own life; I have been told “No” from God multiple times (sometimes God reveals the reason an other times I’m left not knowing why). When God does reveal that reason, I have come back to God to apologize for being upset at the “No.” Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for us. God’s plans for us outweigh the plans that we have for ourselves, and are usually so much better than we could have ever asked or imagined.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11
I want to encourage you to hold on to this verse this week, knowing that God’s plan and timing for you, even if you can’t see what it is right now, is perfect and infinitely better than the plan that you have for yourself.