Think about the last time you didn’t get your way. How did you respond?
Here’s an honest example from my life.
When I launched my book, there was a part of me that wanted paramount success: the New York Times Best-Seller list and an interview on Good Morning America. I wanted the Golden Goose and I felt the tension growing inside of me when it didn’t happen immediately.
And the feeling of course isn’t limited to that example alone.
Sometimes, it’s as trivial as traffic or my children’s refusal to listen when I ask them to clean up. In the past, it’s been more painful, like infertility struggles or financial problems.
In all of those cases, I can feel myself wanting to scream, I want it now!
Spoiled Little Rich Girls
My boys have recently discovered one of the movies from my own childhood: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. As we were watching the other day, I was reminded of a character I had almost forgotten.
Do you remember Veruca Salt, the spoiled little rich girl from the movie?
She’s the one who annoyingly sang, I Want it Now–a demanding diatribe insisting on a Golden Goose from Wonka. These lyrics sum up her mindset of entitlement and impatience:
“I want the works, I want the whole works
Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises of all shapes and sizes
And now! Don’t care how, I want it now
Don’t care how, I want it now”
I suppose that most of us, at least on the outside, don’t act like Veruca Salt. Surely we don’t throw temper tantrums and burst into song when we don’t get our way. However, a quick assessment of our own internal motives and thoughts leads us to a different conclusion.
Maybe there is a spoiled little rich girl inside all of us.
Little by Little
What Veruca Salt didn’t understand and what we all have to learn is that we live in a world where we don’t get our way, often.
When those expectations aren’t met, God appears to be absent and we feel like we’re alone. That place can be hell and that is exactly where the Enemy wants us to exist. In that place, we’re ineffective, ungrateful, and defeated.
I believe Satan wants us to stay in that place, screaming like Veruca Salt or, better yet, losing hope altogether.
But I think God has bigger plans.
In the book of Exodus, God has promised His people the Golden Goose–a land flowing with milk and honey–the Promised Land. However, there’s an interesting passage where God tells His people something important:
“But I will not drive your enemies out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you…” vs. 29-30
Oh how those words frustrate me in real life, but I believe them to be absolutely true, a reminder that the road to our proverbial Promised Land is traversed one step at a time and His promises unfold little by little.
I am beginning to believe that the inconveniences and frustrations of life are simply God’s way of reminding me of how ungrateful I remain.
I believe it’s time to kill the spoiled little rich girl inside all of us.
It’s time to regain hope and trust in the little by little.
In fact, I’m learning that trusting in God–little by little–may just be the Promised Land after all.
QUESTION: In what situations can you begin trusting God, little by little?