A little girl rushed home and told her mother, “Suzie from school got a brand new bicycle. Will you get me a brand new bicycle, Mom?” “No. You already have a bicycle dear.” “I know, but I want a new one just like Suzie’s!” “I’m not going to get you a new bicycle dear.” “Why not?”, asked the little girl with exasperation. “Because I love you.”
A few months later the little girl rushed home again, “ Mommy! Mommy! Bobby from school got a brand new Iphone X. Will you get me a iphone, Mom?” “No. You don’t need an iphone dear. You are only 9 years old.” “But I do, Mommy! I do! I want one just like his. It’s the coolest in the class.” “I’m not going to get you a new iphone, dear.” “Why not?”, asked the little girl with frustration. “Because I love you.”
Around Halloween the little girl came and said, “Mom. I want to dress up like Bratz for Halloween.” “No. That’s a very immodest and inappropriate outfit. You know better than that.” “But all the other girls in class are dressing up like different characters from Bratz! Why can’t I”, responded the little girl with desperation. “Because I love you.”
“You never let me have what other kids get to have. You say you love me, but you never give me what I ask for or what I want. All the other parents do for their kids. Why don’t you give me the same things they give their kids. Why don’t you let me do the things their parents let them do!”, the little girl fumed. “Because I love you.”
Sometimes, the most important thing we can give our kids, because we love them, is the answer “No”. Sometimes, the answer “No” shows more love than the answer “Yes”, if we are giving our children something much greater; like a lesson on patience, hard work, contentment, modesty, independence, etc. “No” doesn’t mean that you don’t care, that you don’t love, that you don’t want happiness for your child. Sometimes, “No” simply means that you know better, that you want better, for your child. You know better than they do. You know they need to learn valuable life lessons more than they need the next “thing” that they crave.
In the parable, adults can relate to the responses of the Mother. We can understand, through our maturity, why she would say “No”, and why in each case she said it she did so because she loves her daughter. In maturity, we need to be able to apply the same principle to God. We, as God’s children, pray to Him for things regularly (hopefully). Oftentimes God says, “Yes”. Oftentimes God says, “Wait”. Oftentimes God says, “No”. Every time though, Every. Time. God answers in the way He does because He loves us. We may not see it. We may not understand it. But we do need to trust God.
Many people turn their back on the Lord because He says, ”No” to their requests. But we have earthly parents who told us “No” and we didn’t deny their existence; did we? We didn’t stop respecting them; did we? We didn’t stop loving them; did we? We, in our immaturity, may have gotten angry, or upset, or disappointed, or threw a fit; but now, knowing what we know now as adults ourselves, parents ourselves (possibly), we know that our parents loved us, and that we should’ve always trusted them, and obeyed them, and loved them. So it should be with God.
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. “ (James 4:3-4) How do we become the enemy of God? When we love the world more than Him. When we want what we ask for more than we want His answer. When we want satisfaction. Not discipline.
God does not always give us what we want or ask for. Why? Because He loves us. May we learn to pray this prayer in all wisdom and godliness, because we love Him. “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.“ (Proverbs 30:7-9)