Learning to Lick the Bowl...
A few things make us distinctly "Banks": the way we all cheer for different EPL soccer teams, the way we have a passion for all kinds of music, the way we love all things Aloha, and the way we consume zucchini bread. Yes, in our family, it's an art form.
One evening, many years ago, while my youngest was helping me make that week's batch, this little scene started to play out.
As I was pouring the last bit of batter into the loaf pans, I had already planned to let my little helper have, by far, the best part of the baking experience: a chance to lick the bowl. In the process of 'assisting,' he had spilled a bit of flour on the counter and was busy poking his chubby little finger in his little mess when he asked me if he could taste it. I answered, "Sure, but it's not going to be as yummy as you think." He put his little finger in the flour and then straight into his mouth, thinking for sure he'd be getting a treat. Instead, his little nose wrinkled up after trying the flour, and he tried to muster an "mmm" sound, pretending he had made the right decision. I laughed because it was just so precious and then handed him a huge spoon and the rest of the batter bowl. With sparkling eyes, he grabbed the spoon and scraped the bowl clean in a matter of seconds, said, "Thank you, Mommy!" and climbed down from his kitchen chair perch... with the remnants of the batter all over his face and hands.
And that's when it hit me. The pause. How much is that just like us with the Lord?
Our loving Father has amazing plans and dreams for us. But, instead of waiting on Him to receive them at the right time, we ask Him, as we poke our chubby little fingers in our own messes, "Can I have this?" All the while, He's got a yummy concoction of a plan just inches away that would be so.much.better. than we could ever imagine if we would only wait on Him for the better thing.
Nonetheless, He says to us in love and with a heaping cup full of mercy, "Sure, beloved, you can have your little mess, but it's not going to be as yummy as you think....".
Then, once we've tasted that experience and left it feeling less than satisfied, He often surprises us with something even more incredible. Even after we've pretended we had the better idea, out of His great love for us and without a drop of condemnation, he offers us His best plan, His highest will for our lives. Unexpected blessings.
Precious, gracious Father, how I long to be like my batter-covered boy having the remnants of your blessings all over my life. Help me learn to not settle for the mess I create but to be willing to wait for the chance to lick the bowl of all you've got for me.
"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