Purposeful Faith

When God Did Not Give Enough (Linkup)

When God didn't give enough


“I want that one, Mommy! No, that one…”

“Pick the one that you like the best,” I said, laying the two books before him.

“This one!”  He skipped with excitement to the checkout line.

Excitedly, I got into the car, envisioning his joy in the back seat. He got a new book –  action figures and all. I bet he is so happy. I want to glimpse his joy. I want to see his face.. We will play and play and play. Boy, will he be so happy with his mom now!

But, day dreaming was cut short to day screaming, as my 3-year old repeated incessantly, “I don’t want it Mommy.”

He screamed and he screamed because what he got wasn’t enough.
He screamed and screamed because what he left behind was better.
He screamed and screamed because it wasn’t the way he wanted it.

My heart broke. I had wanted to give him something special, enjoyable and exciting. I wanted him to enjoy the moment. I wanted him to delight in it, yet my little son, was anything but delighted. It was no longer about his toy and joy, because now he was completely annoyed.

A seed of discontentment was growing. The more he thought about it, the more angry he grew – with me. The more he thought about his other toy, the more he looked at his and hated it.

While my insides wanted to yell, “Be grateful boy, Momma could have gotten you nothing!,” my outsides knew I’m just the same.

I see it’s shine, then forget it and start to whine.
I hold joy tight until complaints come into sight.
I see another’s toy and lose all my joy.
I look back, and think, I didn’t want it like that.

I wonder why he gave me this – instead of that?
I mutter a thank you, then secretly wonder why it isn’t bigger and better.
I can’t even see what he has given me, because all I can see is what I didn’t get.

I say I want what God’s blessings, but do I really?

It seems I want it on my terms, my way and according to my plan. 
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mt. 6:33)

I want it in a way that puts me ahead and that makes me important.
But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” (Mk. 10:31)

I want all gifts and no patience. All blessings and no pruning. All things and no holds bar.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2)

I want it all now and pout like a baby when I don’t get it.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:25)

God is better than empty demands for illusions of peace, significance and happiness.

He promises to meet our needs according to his all-knowing power regarding what we need.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

He is greater than any earthly toy I could covet. Greater than any pile of plastic. Just having and knowing, God, is the ultimate treasure.

It reaps rewards far greater than any empty, breakable, momentary toy I want.  God offers me deep, deep meaning that touches my insides with the deepest healing touch.

Enduring love.
Everlasting peace.
Empowering character.
Extreme perseverance.
Eternal rewards.
Endless faith.

I can only imagine who I would be, where I would be and how empty I would feel if he gave me everything I have demanded of Him. Or, if he gave me what everyone else has in order to quell my discomforts. Or, if he ran to fix every dissatisfaction that resides within.

I may look quite similar to a spoiled toddler and I am not even sure I would like that person too much.

In my pursuit of things, might I lose my pursuit of him?

God is infinitely better. Moments pass, desires wane, but Christ endures. His love never ends. Sure, he loves to give us what we desire for today, but as a Father would, he delights in giving us what we will need for tomorrow.

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’ (Job 1:21)

God desires to meet our deepest hungriest, soul-quenching needs. Certainly, God often gives us things that we want, because he loves us, but his heart beats for what lasts, for what is not plastic – to be burned in the fire – but for what counts. But, for what will give us deep lasting contentment.

“…each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.…” (1 Cor. 3:13-14)

Toys often burn, land in the trash, end up broken in a closet or shoved in a corner. The things of the Lord never burn, never break and always endure. They survive the test of fire.

Let’s take joy in the small gifts of today, because our contentment today may prepare us for the big eternal gifts the Lord is planning tomorrow. Everything we have is a gift, because God loves us. He is using it all for his purposes. We are being transformed – to be a perfect and holy living sacrifice to the Lord. The ultimate gift of beauty for him.

Let’s take our eyes off our deficiencies
and place them on to his all sufficiency.

We have so much to be thankful for. God loves us so much that he gives in a way that answers the deepest cries of our heart. He knows what we need better than we know ourselves.

Dear friends, God’s not a holy Santa, handing us everything on our wish list. Likewise, he doesn’t drop coal at our door step either when we don’t match up. He is so much better than that.

And, the fact of the matter is, even if we don’t get anything, we still have everything – in Him.

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Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

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76 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Oh Kelly! Yes, yes! Just like if I gave my kids EVERYTHING they wanted all the time, I’d be creating a spoiled child, so it is with God and us! I never thought of it quite like that. We ARE just like your son. I constantly think, “What if? What if I’d made the other decision, chosen the other one, etc.” I love your graphic and those three statements. Blessings on your day. Let’s fix our eyes on Him!

    • Thanks Betsy. I know, I couldn’t help but think of what a spoiled brat I am sometimes. Ha! But, God doesn’t see me like that. He just so badly wants me to be more grateful. I am so glad this spoke to you and that you liked it. Let’s walk in gratefulness today (and tomorrow for that matter). 🙂

  • What a great post! So much here I need to ponder and soak in. How hard it is sometimes to accept His answers – just as it’s hard for our kids to understand why we don’t always get them what they ask for. Funny that I also wrote about God not being Santa today 🙂 Prayer is not our wish list, but how we grow closer to God.

    • I love that Kathryn! God must really want people to know this. It is funny, I often see themes running through the linkup. It seems that sometimes God may have a message he really wants to send out at a certain time. Apparently, this week, it is that he is not Santa. Ha! Blessings to you this week. I love that we are on the same page.

  • I remember the kid days and the screaming that went along with them when things were not just so. I love that in this ordinary moment God took this one event and turned it into good for Him because of all that He taught you. Remembering to focus on our sufficiency rather than our deficiency is a lesson that reminds us that God is enough today, tomorrow and always. Thank you for teaching us as God is teaching you. His words through you are a beautiful way to start the day. Blessings!

    • Thank you Mary. It is a blessing and an honor to share the Lord’s teachings and promptings in my life. I am honored by your words to me. God is so good to us; if only we have eyes to see all that he gives.

  • Thank you for this reality check this morning, Kelly! I think we all “look quite similar to a spoiled toddler” at times. I know I do. We really and truly do have everything we could ever possibly need in Him. I must remind myself of that daily and model it for my children.

    • Yes Candace. It can be such a hard lesson to teach, but such a valuable one. I think we have to keep on reminding ourselves of the Lord’s power and sufficiency. It’s powerful.

  • So true…”And, the fact of the matter is, even if we don’t get anything, we still have everything – in Him.” I’ve had a similar thought that I’ve been pondering this week! Thank you for some fantastic reminders. I see myself in my children so often. Because of that, motherhood has a way of steering me back on course again…and again…and again…and…

    • Yes, motherhood is such a blessing. I really get an idea of what it might be like to be a Father. Great point Amy. God is so good to teach us through parenting. Have a blessed day and enjoy all that God has given you.

  • Kelly, oh my, did you “read my mail?” How often have I acted like the little one when all God wants is me to love Him, thank Him and praise Him…& I’m stuck on me me me.

    Your writing is you hing and blessing so many girl. Your “good gifts” from God are beautiful. And you thank and glorify God so eloquently.
    When His best arrives-it will be right on time-it’s gonna blow you outta the water, my sweet friend…

    • Thank you for your words Susan. You encourage me. Seriously. Your words mean a lot. I want to bless others so badly and speak the words of Jesus and to hear that I am is so assuring. I love you and can’t wait to see you in a couple of months to celebrate all that God is doing!

  • There’s always something “more” to push for, something “new” to try, or a to-do list item to cross off. I so easily get caught up in discontentment when the walk of faith becomes about obedience and not so much about the excitement of new beginnings. Thank you so much for these scriptures and also for perspective. You’re a writer’s “writer” and I really appreciate your love and encouragement!

    • Meg, I totally get it. We all tend to have a “we want more” mentality when it comes to our desires. If only we had the same heart towards God in all circumstances. Thank you for your words to me; you breathe life and encouragement into my soul.

  • Wow, so much to keep there in my heart and examine. Especially where you said, ” I can’t even see what he has given me, because all I can see is what I didn’t get…”
    Gosh, how many times a week, a day, an HOUR, do I do this?
    And He is so gracious, that He continues to give Himself to us in our “need”.
    Thanks for this powerful word today, Kelly.
    A perspective I need lodged a little more substantially in my soul for the next while!
    #WriteOn #RaRaLinkup

    • Christine, it truly delights me that these words spoke new perspective into your heart. What joy it is to share the truth of the Lord and to encourage each other in Christ, right? Cheering your faithfulness as you follow him.

  • Amen Amen Amen! 🙂
    Joy in ALL the many small gifts God gives us every day!

    Your story of your son reminds me of a story I have when my – now full grown son was in kindergarden… One day I waited with anticipation to pick him up and give him a little gift I had for him… only to be met with rolling of the eyes… I was heart broken and learned this same lesson in the same way… the good news though…. my son is an amazing and very grateful, compassionate full grown man now! 🙂

    Blessings to you!

    • Thank you Danise. The story is so similar. It is good to hear that he is now an amazing boy. I have to wonder sometimes what kind of kid I am raising – ha! Blessings right back at you friend!

  • Kelly, you have truly blessed my heart far beyond words this morning! I love you and I’m so grateful for you, my friend! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

  • I love this post. Too many times I have to remind myself that God gives us what we need, not always what we want. He has our ultimate best in mind, always.
    But shiny things do distract me sometimes and breed discontentment. Glad you posted.

    • Thank you Donna. The Lord loves your open and authentic heart. He is faithfully moving your eyes more and more on Him as you more and more reveal your heart to him. I love seeing him at work like this. You have a heart after Jesus.

  • Oh, man, how I do NOT want to be a whiny, spoiled, discontent toddler!! But how many times I am in God’s eyes! I have so much to learn. Thank you for this truth in love, Kelly! Well-said, as always!!

    • Thank you Donna! I am learning every step of the way – right next to you friend. It is a constant battle – and a battle it is. I am so glad we get to walk together in it.

  • “In my pursuit of things am I pursuing Him?” WHEEEEEW, Gurl. That is powerful. It would be (and is) a complete TRAGEDY when we completely miss the GIVER for the gifts that tantalize us! Good stuff, friend! Super big #RaraLinkup Sisterhood {{HUGS}} coming your way!! Come on JULY! 😉

    • Awe. Thank you Christy. It is a tragedy when we miss the giver! How right you are? We let the gifts woo us and then we become distracted. Lord, don’t let Christy or my heart or any #RaRa heart go astray!

  • So much wisdom to take in here Kelly. May we turn from our selfishness and become content with the bounty He provides for us. May we be aware of all He has and will give us even when we are unaware.

  • I bless God for the work He continues to do in you and through you. You speak the mind of God to the glory of God. All day, I have pondered on the right perspective of our relationship with the Father. I see that when our Father in heaven does things His way, though we get restless for want of fulfillment of our own expectations and personal gratifications, we end up with better off than we could have conceivably imagined ourselves. So the idea would be not to worry when it seems we don’t get to have our way – we actually glorify God who gives us the better bargain in any case, when we allow and wait for God’s way instead. The ultimate idea even would be to proactively seek and crave His indulgence to have His way only in matters of our lives knowing that our overall victory is indelibly inscribed somewhere in His will. You put it in good perspective. I have gained some help with my faith with today’s Linkup. Thank God for your life.

    • Thank you ‘Gboyega. Your words are a blessing to me. Thank you most humbly for reading my message and for receiving it so powerfully. I am amazed when I see God’s hand at work in a life and it seems he is really at work in yours. Praise him for that! Thank you so much for your comment; it means a lot to me.

  • I needed to read this today. It blessed me on two levels- parenting and for myself and how I relate to God. I need to remember that getting everything we want isn’t always the best thing for us.

  • I can remember moments just like that–with my daughter, with my son…with me. (Sigh.) Yes, Kelly, I can relate. And what a blessing of joy we have in our lives when we only want Him. Love you, girl!

  • Kelly,
    Just last night I was talking with my children about EVERY good and perfect gift being from Him and how we have to appreciate the gift even if we don’t like it or don’t like the wrapping paper so we immediately want to reject it. But indeed EVERY good and perfect gift is FROM HIM.

  • “And, the fact of the matter is, even if we don’t get anything, we still have everything – in Him.”
    Mmmmmm…..what a good reminder, Kelly. He is ALL we need. Can I read this post to my kids and my disgruntled self in those “moments”? Yes, yes I can. Thank you, my dear! God’s best to you.

  • Wow, I can def see myself in the story of your toddler. Praise God for His patience and grace. Thank you for sharing this story and scripture verses with us today, Kelly. I needed a dose of reality. Powerful post. Praising God for you and this reminder to be content in Him.

    • Me too Tina. I need so much more of him and less of me – and my things. It is so easy to get distracted with the opiates of life and to let those consume. Thank you for your words. I love your insights!

  • I’ve been doing a gratitude journal which has been helpful in growing a contented heart. A discontented heart is a miserable one for sure. Nothing will make you happy in that state of heart. The bottom line is that nothing or no one can satisfy like Jesus.

    • HI Debbie, that is a great idea! I love your point – no one can satisfy like Jesus. Let’s hold on to that powerful truth. Thank you for your comment and for joining the linkup today.

  • LOVED your line, “I may look quite similar to a spoiled toddler and I am not even sure I would like that person too much.” Ha! So very true! Growing up poor without a father as I did, I still struggle with feeling like God is, “punishing” me, “absent,” or “withholding His love,” from me when I do not get a need met in my life. I have to constantly go back to the Word and remember the attributes of my Father–that He is loving, patient, merciful, and gives great gifts to His children. It is hard to view losses or unmet needs in life as beneficial to us sometimes. But praise God, He uses ALL things for our good! Ro. 8:28! Great post, Kelly, and God bless you today and always!

    • He so does. Thank you for sharing your background Stephanie. It is so hard when you don’t have a father to look up to. It is almost like you have to relearn love. I am glad that you have such an amazing Father now in Jesus. I celebrate this with you today.

  • Just last week I was struggling with discontent. Battling it actually. So your precious words were such a strong reminder to CHOOSE CONTENTMENT in what we have, be GRATEFUL for all of it and HONOR GOD in the way we handle the gifts He gives. And learning contentment may not necessarily be in preparation for bigger things or better gifts because God is so interested in our hearts and in our characters becoming like Jesus. As His Word says: Contentment with Godliness is GREAT GAIN!! Beautiful piece, Kelly. Thanks and love and hugs. xxoo

    • Sheila, thank you so much for your words. I love how God brings the right messages at the right time. He speaks to our heart. I agree with you that he is not preparing us always for bigger gifts – what I meant to say is “eternal” gifts. I changed up that sentence. Thank you for sharing your heart with me here. I love hearing from you Sheila and I can’t wait to read your post.

  • I love how you take an everyday event in life and turn it into a beautiful spiritual lesson. “God loves us so much that he gives in a way that answers the deepest cries of our heart. He knows what we need better than we know ourselves.” These lines especially encouraged me. I even had to read it to my hubby. 🙂 Very fitting for our circumstances right now. Thank you, Kelly.

    • I am SO glad Trudy. I am delighted to hear that these words encouraged your soul. It can be so hard to wait on him and to trust in his ways, but he has proven himself – time and time again. I am praying over your circumstances right now!

  • Oh, Kelly, we are so like your son, aren’t we? We fuss and fume, stomp our feet and whine. All because our answers didn’t come wrapped up like we wanted them. I learned sometime ago to be thankful for everything. It has changed my life. Such a great post! Sorry I haven’t been be in a while. Life keeps taking swings at me. Blessings to you, sweetie! xoxox

    • Lynn, you certainly have been through a lot. I would love to pray for you. I am so glad to see you joining us; I have missed you. I am delighted that you joined the post too. I am deeply sorry life has been taking swings!

  • This speaks so much truth to my heart. Thank you for encouraging me to make seeking Him more important than seeking things of this world that only shine momentarily. 🙂

  • You made me stop and think when you said, “I can only imagine who I would be…. if I He had given me everything…” What a statement! What a thought to contemplate. It brings me to Romans 8:28.. for God works out all things for good, and that reminds me of the trust factor. Sometimes our kids don’t think we are on their team, and likewise, I forget that God is on my team…He is my coach.. and my biggest cheerleader.

    I can only imagine… hmm.. I will be thinking on that for a while.

  • Kelly, I’ve wanted to stop by your blog for the longest time. I see the incredible encouragement from your readers that floods Twitter on Mondays and throughout the remainder of the week! I’m so glad to finally be here and to read your post. I was just thinking (and writing) about God’s gifts this morning and whether I’m a thankful receiver of them. Your post was further encouragement to receive all that He gives with a glad heart! Thank you! 🙂

    • Well, I am delighted that you came by! I feel honored to have you. You should come join us Tarissa on Mondays. It would be an honor to have you. We just encourage our fellow bloggers on Monday and linkup on Tuesday. Thank you again for coming on over. 🙂

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