I like to surprise my kids.
I’m sure if you’re a parent reading this, you feel the same way. No matter how old they get, I still enjoy watching their faces light up when they didn’t expect something. Whether that is on birthdays, Christmas’s, or just a spontaneous trip to Starbucks for their favourite treat or picking out a movie to watch.
My oldest boy is now 14 years old, and he will tell you that he does not enjoy being surprised. He likes being kept in the loop. We’ve actually gotten into little arguments about this. I tell the boys to get their shoes on because we’re going out. My youngest just says okay and just goes with the flow most times. But my oldest asks, “Where are we going?” and then I say, “Don’t worry. It’s a surprise.” To which he then begins to beg me to spill my secret. This can go on and on for several minutes to the point where I get so irritated that I end up yelling at them “Just get in the car!”
What started off as a mother wanting to do something nice and surprise her children, ends up in a fight and, if I let it, ruining my mood for the day. All because my son doesn’t like ‘not knowing.’
One day, years ago when my boys were much younger, I decided I wanted to surprise them. It was a yucky, slushy wintery day and I wanted to get out of the house. So I looked up things to do in our city that we lived in and because I didn’t have a vehicle at the time, I looked up the appropriate bus route to get us where we were going. It was going to be a bit of a trek but I was convinced it would be worth it.
I had decided to take them to an indoor jungle gym, complete with glow in the dark mini putting and arcade games. I thought this would be a big hit for everybody so once everything was planned I went and told the boys to get dressed because we were going out. We walked to the mall down the street and waited for the bus. Once we got settled in our seats I was really excited about our adventure. I didn’t tell them where we were going but I knew they would love it!
Several times throughout our bus ride they would ask me, “Mommy where are we going?” To which I would respond, “Don’t worry, it’s a surprise.” Or, “Don’t worry, you’re gonna love it!” And you know what? They did love it! Once we got there, it didn’t matter how long the bus ride was, they were having a blast!
I remember getting home that night and writing in my journal about a thought I had that day. Even as adults, don’t we do the same thing? I’m the same way with God. I don’t like not knowing what’s going on in my life. I like to plan or at least have an idea about what to work towards. Yet, so many times it feels like ‘radio silence’. By nature, I’m not a patient person. Not knowing makes me feel restless and irritable and I absolutely loathe it.
I’ve had many conversations with God where I get mad and beg Him to tell me what’s going on…anything at all. Any.bit.of.info.will.do. I can just picture him shaking his head in frustration at his child (me) that just won’t shut up with all my bickering and questions and complaining about where we’re going until He just finally has enough and shouts, “Jennifer! Just get in the car!!”
All throughout the Bible there are examples of how God wanted the best for his children and asked them to trust Him where He led, even if they didn’t know where they were going. And on more than one occasion, even God’s patience ran thin with his own children from their constant unbelief and complaining. All along, his plan was to take them to a place that was far better than they could have imagined…but all they could see and feel was what was around them at that moment. So their journey ended up being far longer and troublesome than it had to be…all because they didn’t trust their ‘Father’.
Imagine for a moment what life would be like if we trusted God with being God and allowed Him to have complete control in our lives. Complete trust in His Sovereignty that He knows best.
God is saying to each of us, “Get ready. We’re going somewhere. Don’t worry, it’s a surprise. Don’t worry, you’re gonna love it. Trust me! Now get in the car.” And just trusting that anything our ‘Daddy’ has in store for His kids has goodness written all over it.
Remember these words by Jesus himself:
“You parents-if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”~Matthew 7:9-11