Is God Holding Out on Me?

My one-year-old sits in his highchair, cramming watermelon into his mouth. He can’t get it in fast enough. In between bites, he fusses. If there’s not a spare piece or two waiting on his tray, he complains. Despite the fact that we generally give him as much watermelon as he wants, he still fears a shortage.

As I watch the scene unfold over lunch, it hits me. My son thinks I’m holding out on him. And in a sense, I am. I don’t want him to fill his mouth so full of watermelon that he chokes. So I give him a piece or two at a time—then wait for him to chew—before giving him more.

In many ways, the same scenario plays out in our walk with God too. Sometimes we find ourselves asking, “Are you holding out on me?”

We’re seldom so frank or honest to use those exact words. But when our prayers go unanswered, when the wait grows long, when our situation worsens, we get squirmy. We whine and complain. We question. Sometimes we even doubt.  

Amidst a season filled with waiting, I find myself feeling—and sometimes behaving—much like my son. Wondering why God is seemingly withholding good, and even necessary, things from me.

Ever so slowly, I’m learning the answer is found in his fatherly character. Perhaps I have a lesson still unlearned. Perhaps what I’m asking for would be hurtful in large portions. Or perhaps he plans to give me something better on the other side of the waiting.

I don’t have a clear answer. But one thing is certain. This season is teaching me dependence. When my situation looks long and lonely and lacking, I must lean on him one day at a time.

In more ways than I realize, I am like my son—completely dependent upon God and his daily provision. He feeds me. He clothes me. He gives me sustaining grace.

Growing up is never easy, whether we’re one, twenty-one, or fifty-one. The process is often painful. We seldom understand it. But with God, we can trust that he has a purpose and a plan. What seems like holding out is really just hedging in.

So today, let’s look deeply at whatever seems to be lacking in our lives. But let’s not stop there. Instead, let’s bring our needs to the one who knows just how to protect us and provide for us as we grow. 

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.