McKenna, my one-year-old, LOVES Cuties - you know, those little mandarin oranges? She's crazy about fruit in general, but if I whip out a mandarin, she'll drop everything on her plate and make grunting noises until she has some in her mouth. And then she inhales them. Girl's got like 9 teeth so she must just be swallowing them whole, I don't know. What I do know is that, to keep her happy, I want to give her multiples at a time, and quickly.
But if I give her too many, she may not know her limits, then eat too many and choke, so I break them up before she gets them. Or, if I give like half of one at a time, she might bite into it, letting all the juices drip down her chin...and her arms...and her multi-fold neck...and her stomach, making a huge mess for me to clean up later. (We cut out the middle-man and just have her eat naked, so at least it's not lots of laundry.) The point is, I want to give her the "just right" amount of food. Not too much for her to get super messy, and not so little that it's not satisfying.
Yesterday, I peeled and broke one open, and the first section I picked up only had two pieces to it. I wanted to give McKenna as much as possible to keep her happy, so I quickly separated them and gave them to Ariana, because she would be content with those for a while while I broke up the rest of them for McKenna.
Well this was a problem. McK got so mad that I wasn't giving her exactly what she saw and wanted right away, and to add insult to injury, I gave what she thought should have been hers to her sister! But! I had McKenna's in my hand, almost ready to go. I just needed her to wait for about 10 more seconds, and she'd have more than she needed.
I see so many God/parenting parallels in my life I almost can't keep track of them all. When we see blessings freely handed out to others and sometimes withheld from us, I think it's easy to get angry at God or frustrated that He doesn't give us what we're clearly wanting and ready for. And doesn't He say that he knows what to give us, better than even our human parents do? Why does He withhold blessings He knows we want? Why can't He answer our heartfelt prayers, even when we are trying our absolute hardest to please Him?
I know the individual answer is different for everyone, and ultimately, all I know is God loves us. Why couldn't I have just given McKenna the two slices to make her happy while I made more for her and Ariana? In my mind, I wanted to give her the most of what she wanted, what I knew would make her happy for a longer time. I certainly don't love Ariana more than McKenna, nor was I trying to punish her by making her wait a little longer. In my short perception, the best answer was the one I acted out.
Then, in God's long perception, He must know what is best for us, yes? He must know that if He gives us one blessing now, maybe it cuts off opportunity for seventy blessings later - which is really difficult when we see friends getting one and five and twelve blessings now. Why not us? There are probably millions of reasons. But each life is different, and each person is important to our Heavenly Father.
Like I said, I don't know everything, but I know God loves us. And sometimes I see that love reflected (in really imperfect ways) in my parenting. Sometimes you see it too. I'm grateful God gives us these insights to understand Him better.
And here's a really great article on this. Definitely better written and it includes all sorts of other situations.