I'm dedicating this post, "Tickled by God" to Patrick Mitchell who said that would make a great title for a blog post. Thanks for the idea, Patrick!
Our small group met last night. We had a really great time! Yummy food provided by Lisa and Don, a cozy and intimate place to watch and discuss the video. We watched a Nooma video by Rob Bell called Kickball. This particular video was about what God has for us as opposed to what we might want. God always knows best - as was quoted in the video and discussed at length by our group "God's better is better." It's so true! No matter what we think would be best for our own lives or what we would have God do for us - we just don't always know the big picture, and therefore can't always make the best decisions for ourselves. We have to wait on God's "better."
The premise of the video was that Rob and his son were at the mall. They passed a kiosk in the middle of the mall that had tons of toys. They stopped and looked at a ball that was attached to a string that connects to your wrist - you throw it and it comes back to you. Anyway, Rob picked up the ball, threw it, and it came back and hit him in the face. Knowing that this would not be the best toy for his two and a half year old son, he handed the toy back to the salesperson and started to walk away. His son had a fit - he wanted the toy. His son looked at him with that "But I thought you loved me" look.
How often do we look at God that way? "Why haven't you given me what I wanted? I thought you said you loved me?"
Rob finally had to go get his son and carry him off. Well, Rob had been wanting to give his son a kickball. They had been playing with balls over the past few weeks, but Rob wanted to get him his very own kickball. He took his son to another store where there was a whole wall of kickballs, in every color. He looked at his son and told him he could pick whichever one he wanted. See, Rob knew that the other toy would be dangerous for his son. It would get wrapped around his wrist or tied up in knots. It would probably come back and hit his son in the face, just as it had Rob when he threw it. So it's important for us to realize that we just don't always have all the information - but God does. He gives us something that's ultimately so much better for us.
So, having our own son, mine and David's perspectives have changed drastically in the way we see God and how God relates to us as His children. David spoke to the group about an incident that happened just the other night.
Xander wanted some cake. He walked up to David and said, "Birthday cake?" (He's been fascinated ever since Amy's birthday and then Papa's the week following Amy's.) David told him we didn't have any cake. So Xander came to me and said again, "Cake?" And I told him the same thing David had told him. We didn't have any cake in our house. Xander looked at us with those same eyes Rob had seen on his son - "But I thought you said you loved me?" And then he threw a fit. I mean a real one. He threw himself on the floor and stuck his lip out, while crying and wailing.
Here's the thing. I probably could have gone into the kitchen right then and made him a cake (I'm sure I had the ingredients in the pantry). Or maybe I didn't have all the ingredients and just tried to make do with what I had - that would have been a gross cake. I could have even gone to the store and bought a cake for my child! But that wouldn't have been best for him. It was too close to bedtime and how nutritionally good is cake anyway? He just really didn't need it.
So, as David finished up the story, I thought about the events that happened next on that "no cake" evening. And then I shared this with the group - although I didn't have any cake to give Xander, I went to him, picked him up, hugged him and started tickling him. He laughed and laughed, and we had so much fun together!
And I think God does that for us sometimes, too. Although He may not give us exactly what we want when we want it, more often than not he blesses us with something else in the meantime. Maybe, just maybe, we get tickled by God. :)