My youngest son, Paul, whom I love so very much, just taught me an important lesson. Recently his dad and I went shopping for Christmas gifts and before we left for town he asked if we might get him a nerf gun this year. Now any parent knows that a nerf gun, in the hands of two boys, doesn't last till New Years. At least not in our house. So when he asked for this I had the image of rolling down my car window and tossing nerf gun dollars out. It's the same to me.
Unbeknownst to Paul, his dad and I had planned on and purchased a present for him that we knew he would love far more and would last far longer. He's wanted this gift for a long time but never dreamed this would be his Christmas present this year. So he's been standing by the tree a bit sadly, eyeing gifts that don't remotely resemble a nerf gun. Every once in awhile he makes little noises that in case we've forgotten this very important gift there's still time...
And I so want to tell him that we have something that will be so much more fun if he will only wait a little longer. I want to reassure him that I've not forgotten but have just planned something even better, so much so that he'll be jumping for joy.
And suddenly I'm struck by how often I do this with my heavenly Father. I pray about all sorts of things and have an idea of when and how I'd like these prayers to be answered. I'm a lot like Paul standing at the tree, overlooking the gifts He's already given me, and hoping He's not forgotten. I wonder if He longs to reassure me, as I do Paul, that He isn't going to give me second best but has something so much better, so far superior to what I'm wanting in my smallness, that I'll be jumping for joy when the day comes.
If you're dealing with a delayed dream, I encourage you to remember Paul and his nerf gun. If you're longing to be published and that's His gift for you, He already sees your book on the shelf even though you can't. That's certainly the way it happened for me. A long delay, a dream that almost died, and then great joy that He'd not forgotten.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17