I recognize myself in a child's tantrum.

God beggar

“I am a God beggar,” I think, looking down into the hopeful eyes of my two-year-old grandson.

I reach down and pull the tiny dimpled arms from around my leg, hold his chubby hands in mine, and kneel down to his level. My head turns side to side.

“No.”

He mimics. His chubby cheeks turn left and right.

“No more, candy, Kellan.” I tell him, firm as a grandma can be to such cherub perfection. Our eyes are locked. Blue to blue neither of us wavering, testing the waters, and then abruptly a mounting wail begins. Kellan’s legs give way, his head tosses backward, and he arches away from my firm hold.  Loud cries erupt like a thunderstorm.

“Peeeeese!”

I have broken his heart, over one little round lemonhead sour candy. I am just the messenger, forwarding the bad news from the supreme mommy authority. I look toward my daughter, questioning with my eyes.

She’s firm.

And the tantrum follows its predicted course, ending up behind the bedroom’s closed door.

“Yes, I am a God beggar.”

I recognize myself in a child’s tantrum. An escalating “please” within me is like a cry that screams in the wind and oozes from my pores. I am begging God for something, and He is not giving it.

If Jesus lived today, if He was within travel distance, by land, sea or air, I’d carry my burden like the four men of faith in Luke 5, who, convinced that if they could bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus He would heal him. But the crowds were so great they were unable to reach Jesus, so they went on the rooftop of the house, removed tiles to lower the bedfast man to Jesus. And he was healed.

I would do that if I could.

Or maybe like Jacob I’d hold on to the Angel of God and refuse to let go, “unless You bless me,” Jacob stated. Unless you give me what I want, I plead.

I have believed enough for 100 men.

“PLeeeease, God, pleeese.”

Asaph penned it well in Psalm 77:2 (NKJV) “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted.”

In this painful place, the place between my request and His answer, inside the void of waiting, faith meets its test. The real question beseeches a response. Has the answer to my pleas become my god? Does faith pivot like a seesaw relative to God’s response? Or is God Himself my supreme desire?

“This is my anguish,” Asaph refocuses his vision, clouded by his deemed non-answered pleas. Intentionally he turns his heart to remember the character and past works of Almighty God, and in so doing, his anguished soul is put to rest. His faith expands.

“But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord…” (Psalm 77:10-11; NJKV)

Faith rests not on what God does for me, rather in trust of Who He is. He is infinitely wise, righteous and loving. He knows what is best for me.

The bedroom door swings open just a slit. A little hand reaches through.

“I sorry.”

My daughter pushes it open farther, scoops up the repentant prodigal and smothers him in hugs and kisses. Belly waves of laughter fill the room until he can hardly breathe.

The clenched grip inside my heart relaxes. I replace the desperation of my soul with submission, and uncontainable joy bubbles.

Kellan reaches his arms toward me, eye to eye, blue to blue and we laugh.