Not now, honey. Not yet. I know you want to drive, but you’re not old enough. I know you want to sit in the front seat, but if the airbag went off, it would crush you. I know you don’t want to buckle up and stay in your car seat, but I couldn’t bear it if something happened to you. I know you want to go to that party, but there aren’t going to be any adults and I don’t trust teenage boys alone with you. I know that cupcake looks good, Bobby, but it might have milk in it and would make you really, really sick.
Sometimes we ask God for things, and we feel sad because he won’t give us what we believe to be our heart’s desire. But maybe, just maybe, we aren’t ready. It’s not that He doesn’t know we want it. He’s doing it for our own good. The Lord takes care of us just as we’ve taken care of our children, guarding them from unnecessary danger, avoiding risk, doing whatever we can to protect them. Sometimes the thing your child wants is not inherently bad; it’s just wrong for that moment. Babies might put quarters into their mouths and choke; a six-year-old would buy a gumball and have fun playing with the machine; an older child would put it with several other quarters to buy a Coke.
How we handle things depends partly on our stage of development. How often are we simply not ready for what we ask for? Maybe instead of recklessly giving us what we want, God is waiting, possibly even leading us through a process to show us how to be ready. Helping us grow up. Teaching us how to use the gift we’re about to receive. I don’t know, and often we aren’t granted the explanation behind God’s answers. But one thing is for sure. He will answer us, but we’ll only get gifts that are age-appropriate.