A fave film of mine is called 'The Princess Bride’. It’s a beautiful, wholesome fairy tale, packed with romance, high adventure, pirates, princess, giants, fencing, miracles…and a deliciously crazy mad dose of clever humour.
"As you wish", is the strapline of the film, often quoted by Westley - who is one of the two main characters. He says this, whenever his master and childhood sweetheart – Princess Buttercup - makes demands upon him, her farm boy…to clean this, demolish this…and clear that. She is totally oblivious to his undying love for her. Eventually she also develops a deep love for him, but then there’s a wee glitch in the matrix where Westley suddenly dies and they are separated forever. She is inconsolable. But unbeknown to her, Westley actually survives…and becomes a pirate.
However, as time goes by, they are reconciled once again, both finding themselves simultaneously fleeing the evil Prince Humperdinck. Buttercup is unaware that this masked Pirate, whom she despises so much, is in fact her beloved Westley. And so, when finding themselves in all sorts of life threatening situations, the princess ignorantly proceeds to tell this whatless pirate exactly how to go about saving them. Unable to reveal his true identity, the wise, strong, invincible Pirate humbly suggests otherwise, but in typical Buttercup style, her royal highness weeps, tosses, sulks and insolently paces around - until she gets her own way, often to her own detriment. And Westley, knowing far better, yet unwilling to violate Buttercups free will, shrugs his shoulders, and gives her exactly what she asks for.
In Buttercup’s defence, she isn’t trying to be bossy, or demanding…or sulky…she isn’t trying to large it and stubbornly pull her weight around…she just doesn’t know how to trust anyone, given that she’s had her heart shattered so deeply…and the pain…the disappointment…the loss…has rendered her broken…she just can’t take any more sorrow…and so she lets her emotions totally rule her…and although Westley her true love is right there all along…who can totally see the bigger picture and is in complete control…and even though, all that is needed is for her to just trust him and his wisdom, love and strength…she can’t because she’s tunnel-visioned…and so in her limited wisdom, her impatience and in her woundedness she demands that she gets her own way…because she just "CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" (Sound familiar??) And so Westley just relents…knowing the consequences will be painful and harmful for all involved…but taking the “tough love” approach and letting Buttercup learn the hard way…he simply says “as you wish”.
I’m sure God at times, is forced to do that, with us too. I’m sure there have been occasions when we so badger Father God that He just relents and says “okay sugar…in my permissible will, I’m gonna give you what you want”!! And so we get our own way. Wow that’s a scary thing…to know that we have the liberty to force God to give us what we WANT, rather than what we NEED! To my relief, I truly have to say that, in His beautiful Love and Wisdom He has not given me what I want. Even at my most desperate…at my most demanding…at my most stubborn…if what I have been asking for has not been in line with His will, I sincerely thank God that, He has not let me have my own way. He has not succumbed to my pleading…my begging…my weeping…and my pathetic arguing…He has not given in to my emotional outbursts however sincere or heartfelt they may have been to me. Instead, He has comforted me, quietened my soul and strengthened me with His presence yet He has thankfully, shielded me from my own desires. And time and time again in hindsight, I have been able to see why He has done that...why upon reflection “my way” just wasn’t the best way.
I think back to all the times that I have appeased God…certain that I will crumble and die if things don’t change…adamant that what I am asking for, is exactly what God would want for me for that season too…confident that what I desire for myself must surely be the right thing for me and for those around me…convinced that I am ready and mature enough to handle the very thing that I desire…only to find God saying No, or not yet…or not in this way…or not with this person…
And at that time, although I don’t understand why my desires are not being met…and even though I am desperate to see change, and even though I am filled with wonder and even confusion regarding what I must be doing so wrong to not have what others attain so easily…even then, I am aware that I just do not see the bigger picture. I just do not have the divine insight that He has. And as much as I may plead, beg, pace up and down, lament and even manipulate God… with every seemingly rejected prayer, shattered dream, delayed trial, overdue blessing…His ways will ALWAYS be higher than mine…and so deep down, despite the ups and downs, despite my innermost secret and unfulfilled petitions I am able to trust Him implicitly - knowing that He is far too faithful and far too loving to let me have my own way. And I am so deeply grateful...because no matter what my desires may be...ultimately I only want Him to give me what’s best for me, and not, what I wish for.