Sometimes things we want don’t always line up. I might want to lose 20 pounds, but I also want cupcakes and sprinkles. I want to get a bunch of stuff done in the evening, but I also want to sleep. I want to save money, but I also want to buy sparkly things.
If you read my post “Praying for our kids,” you know that Noah started his 7th grade school year this past Thursday. You also know I was committed to praying for him and had peace about it.
I spent the drive to school Thursday morning praying for Noah’s day, his teachers, him and his friends. I dropped him off, then walked 2 1/2 miles around the neighborhood surrounding his school, talking to God about this new school year. I prayed more detailed prayers for all of the teachers, counselors, bus drivers, cooks, secretaries, students, their families, and specifically for Noah and his friends, as well as the kids from my church who were starting school that day.
I felt pretty good the rest of the day, trusting it would be an awesome day. But it didn’t feel so awesome for Noah.
I’m hesitant to post this. Sometimes it’s a fine line between transparency and being a blabber mouth, especially when it involves people other than yourself. Having said that, I’m going to share.
While it could have been much worse, he had several crummy things happen – beginning with me not remembering he needed $5 for locker rental and him having to carry his stuff, including his lunchbox, all day. Out of respect for him, I’ll skip the other details, but ultimately he rated his day, from 0, meaning the worst day ever, to 10, super awesome, at a 2. He had a bad day.
I was so bummed. I was sure with all my praying and confidence, his day would be better than that. And I was kind of frustrated with God. It seemed wrong even to say that, but God knows my heart. After all that praying and believing, I just felt it deserved better than a 2.
So I told God as much on Friday morning after I prayed with Noah again and dropped him off. I cried. I asked God why He didn’t give Noah a better first day when that’s the very thing I had asked for.
God wasn’t silent. He quickly reminded me of another prayer I had prayed.
Last year, I began praying for Noah to have a closer, more personal relationship with God. He has a great relationship with God, but the older he gets, I know it is important for him to continue to develop a faith that is entirely his own, not just what we have taught him. I want that for him.
While what I wanted for Noah was a #10 day with happy teachers and a slew of friends to choose from at lunchtime, those aren’t always the kinds of days that produce trust and faith in God.
But #2 days can do that.
In Job 36:15, Elihu, a counselor to Job, shared these words with him…
“But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.”
I’ve had a few #2 days before, and I can say for sure that those are the times I feel God closest to me. When I’m broken, desperate, and don’t know what to do, those are the times I look for Him the most. And the more days I have like that, the more I trust that God will be there for me again and again, because He has shown me all the times He has been before. God definitely speaks to me in my affliction, just like Elihu said. Right in the middle of it, I can hear His words, and that is what gets me through whatever it is.
If these are the kinds of days that will help Noah to be closer to God, to be the person He is creating him to be, bring them on. I will be right there with him, praying for him, loving him, and thanking God for knowing far better than I which prayer to answer.