Today we found out that Eliza did not get into the Spanish immersion magnet school that we had applied for, while her best friend did get in. In the grand scheme of life, this is not a big deal, but to us it had become very important and something we really desired.
I know that we are not promised that life would ever be fair, but this has been a really frustrating thing for me today. I think that in my heart I believe that God "owes" us this (and other things, probably) because of what we do for Him. I make mental lists of the things that we do for the Lord, the ways that Diane and I serve Him and sacrifice to make Him known, and I guess that deep down there are places in my heart that feel like the least He could do for us is (insert thing you want here).
I want to be justified in my anger, to say, "It's not fair. Can't we just catch a break here? We don't ask for much. Why does Eliza's friend get in and we don't?" The lie comes, "Does God like that other family better?" I wonder if God is just trying to teach us the lesson that our obedience doesn't guarantee blessing, correcting us for subtly getting off track?
I wasn't convinced that I wanted Eliza to go to this school when the process began, thinking that she should go to the school that we are districted for, since those are the families we moved here to reach out to, and I gave a very spiritual answer when asked about it. "We'll just apply for it and if she gets it, then that is good and if she doesn't, we trust that the Lord wants her to go to Peck." But that was before I really wanted her to get in and learn Spanish. It's one thing to sound spiritual when your heart isn't in it. It's another when He doesn't give you something that you want.
And so I know that in this moment I feel whiny and jealous, definitely not a faithful or Spirit-led response. But I also know that the Lord is patient with me, and that He gives me some time to be disappointed, and also gently calls me by His Spirit to remember what is true, to trust Him with my children, and to believe that He really does love me and my family as much as anyone else.
And this news, while disappointing, is a part of that love for us. We trust God, that His heart towards us is good and loving and that His plans for our family far surpass and exceed those that we could ever dream. And yes, I think that He is using this small thing to remind me and my family of a bigger picture, and to remind us that our obedience does not come so that He gives us something, but rather because He has given us everything already in Christ. No matter how I feel, that is the truth.