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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit

I teach 20 small people for 40 hours a week. In addition to multiplication and division, we are learning how to share and be thankful. At times the phrase, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit," is a necessary reminder in my classroom. For some reason, my children seem to think they're entitled to what they want, when they want it. Remind you of anyone?

Recently, this phrase was necessary prior to passing out cupcakes. 
Let me tell you, if you've never
passed out colorful cupcakes to a classroom of 3rd graders, I invite you to try… Vanilla cake, chocolate cake, pink icing, blue icing, only a little icing. There are more options than you realize!

We were celebrating a classmate's birthday. The cupcakes arrived on a Friday afternoon with only five minutes to spare before the students were dismissed. To expedite the process of handing out the colorful birthday yummies, I made the announcement, "Class, you get what you get…" the students finished it, "And you DON'T throw a FIT!" 

I like to think my student's manners have improved this year. Many of them responded with gratitude when I handed them the cupcake. I made my way through the class quickly placing cupcakes on napkins. As irony would have it, I arrived at the last student's desk. I handed them a cupcake. "I want a chocolate one," the student whined. "I'm sorry babe. Remember, you get what you get? I didn't allow the others to choose today, so it wouldn't be fair if I made an exception for you. If you don't care for the one I gave you, you can just put it back."


The student continued to become so upset that tears were flowing and my patience waining. Now the child's screaming was audible down the hall. Prayerfully trying to maintain composure, I began to dismiss students to their after school destinations. The adamant student's fit was now a level 9 temper tantrum. Screaming. Hitting the desk. Hysterical crying. All of this over a cupcake. They didn't get what they wanted so it seemed appropriate to throw a fit. Never mind the delicious, free, beautiful cupcake on the desk. It wasn't exactly what this student wanted. 

I was about to absolutely lose it on this student when the Lord pricked my heart. "You throw fits like that too, Heather." Regardless of how much I tried to shake the thought, I knew I stood convicted. 

Selfishness is not a kingdom attribute. It seeps in so easily and unnoticed until it rears it's ugly head. Lately, I've had a list of "wants" I've submitted to God. For some reason, I feel as though I am entitled to what I want, when I want it. When I don't get EXACTLY what I desire, I throw a fit, get angry, whine, cry, complain. So, am I really any different than my exasperated 3rd grader? Nope. 

As I drove home that day with my eye twitching and my head pounding (It's May, folks. The days are loooonnnnggg.) My heart began to break. I knew how frustrated I felt dealing with this student; I was trying to give them a blessing. They refused it. How it must pain the heart of the Father when I reject the very blessing He is trying to bestow upon me! 

My reason for denying the student's request was that we were running out of time and I didn't have 30 minutes to pass out cupcakes to ensure that each student had the perfect cake flavor/icing color combo. I recognize that God's reasons are of much greater depth than my understanding. God's system for passing out blessings is always for my benefit. 

If He gives me something different than what I asked for, it's because that something is better than what I thought I wanted. 

Don't miss the blessing God is trying to give you. Be open minded, handed and hearted. Just say "Thank you!" for the cupcake He sets on your desk. Trust that He gave you what you really would have wanted had you known all the details. 

For the record, the student never ate the cupcake, continued the fit, and ended up smashing the cupcake to smithereens… the blessing was wasted. Have you ever wasted a blessing? I sure have.

Maybe it's the timing. Maybe you don't really know what you're asking for. Maybe there is something God is protecting you from. Maybe the Lord has something so much better in mind. "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!" 

You, my Christian friend, get eternal life. You get freedom from your sins. You get the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You get countless promises in the Word. You get love that never fails. You get the hope of a future. You get peace that surpasses understanding. You get joy that turns into strength. You get beauty for ashes.  You get the armor of God, the fruit of the spirit…. 
Now then, is there really any 
reason to throw a fit?  

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