My preschool son had asked for a peanut butter sandwich, and now, only 15 minutes later, he was begging for peanut butter on crackers. Yet his sandwich had barely been touched.
“Did you finish your sandwich?” I asked him.
“No, I don’t want it.”
“I’m not going to give you more peanut butter when you already have some. Finish what you have before asking for more.”
“I want peanut butter on crackers!”
“If you eat your sandwich and you’re still hungry,” I snapped, at the end of my patience,
“you can have peanut butter on crackers. But you can’t get more while you still have a sandwich!”
I couldn’t contain my frustration. How could he possibly ask for more of what he wasn’t eating?
Then it hit me—the same message God had given me the week before, when I found myself wishing I had more talents:
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much. (Luke 16:10)
Had I been faithful in all the things God had given me to do? Had I used the gifts I had as well I could? I cringed to think how much time I’d wasted, how little I’d used my talents, and how much money I couldn’t account for at all. Yet I’d whine that I didn’t have more.
When I wished for more hours in the day, it was usually because I had squandered some of the ones I had.
I had been asking for more of my writing to be published, and for more ways to use my words for God’s glory, when I wasn’t even using my words in the ways I already had at my disposal—like sending encouraging notes to friends.
God wasn’t being unfair when He withheld things from me, any more than I was when I made my son finish one thing before giving him more. He just didn’t want to see His good gifts go to waste.
I could start by being faithful with something little, but very, very important—my son. Did I really need to lose my patience with him, when I asked of God the same things my son asked of me?
My son ate the sandwich, and got the peanut butter on crackers.
And I prayed: “Lord, help me to be faithful with the little things You’ve given me.”
I started looking for ways to use what I had to serve God right where I was. Within a few months, I was volunteering for my church. A year later, some of the volunteer work led to a paid position.
Following God’s lead and looking for the opportunities around me eventually led me on a mission trip to Africa, to leading women’s Bible studies, and even leading prayers for large groups, all things I couldn’t have imagined that day in the kitchen. This was more than I had even thought to ask for!
Sometimes the more comes slowly, but He also gives us grace to wait on His timing, and comfort when the waiting is hard, knowing that every seed God has given us, if we plant it in faithfulness, will eventually burst into life and bring a bountiful harvest.
One day, may we all experience the words of Matthew 25:23: “’Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”