I love to bake sugar cookies with the kids, lather them in frosting and sprinkles and then enjoy them with the family. This has been a tradition of baking that began with my mom and has been passed on to my kids.
After the initial taste testing there are always plenty of cookies to last a few days. Of course it is tempting to eat them all in one sitting while they are still fresh and especially because they are a rare delicacy in our home. Yet we know that this type of cookie eating frenzy will lead to ruined appetites, tummy aches, and regret.
It’s hard to explain waiting and not indulging to a three year old. At least that was the case with my youngest, Tenley. We had just made a fresh batch of sugar cookies and we left those brightly decorated sugary temptations on the counter overnight. We made sure they were out of reach of little hands that might be tempted to snag one when no one was looking, but we underestimated our little one’s ingenuity.
I walked into the kitchen the next morning to an odd sight. There was a barstool pushed over to the counter near the cookies and an empty spot on the cookie rack where a cookie had once been. I called Tenley into the kitchen and asked her what happened. She looked at me with her big puppy dog eyes and just shrugged her shoulders, frosting still at the corner of her mouth. She was caught red handed and her sneaky taste of a cookie she wanted so badly to enjoy had only led her right into trouble.
She learned a toddler sized lesson about making good choices that morning and I don’t think she snuck a cookie the next time they were out on the counter. The consequence wasn’t worth the indulgence.
Sometimes I can act like a toddler unable to resist taking the cookie when I want it instead of waiting, but instead of a cookie it’s a blessing from the Lord. There are seasons in my life when the Lord begins to reveal amazing opportunities and blessings that are coming my way. The problem is He often shows me that it isn’t quite time for these blessings. If they come in too much abundance or too soon, then I won’t fully enjoy what He has for me.
He wants to give me the desires of my heart, but He wants to give them to me. If I take them on my time then they lose their appeal and the full sweetness that He had in store for me. When we are tempted to take control and push the stool over to the counter to snatch the blessing He has for us, we’ll miss it. It becomes a blessing deferred, something put off for another time or maybe never even fully realized.
It is hard to be patient when we see something special and good just out of reach. The toddler inside us rears its ugly head and we are tempted to snatch it, but let us instead pray for self-control because what He has for us is better than anything we could take for ourselves.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.”