Instead of a river, God often gives us a brook, which may be running today and dried up tomorrow. Why? To teach us not to rest in our blessings, but in the blesser Himself. Yet is it not at this very point that we so often fail--our hearts being far more occupied with the gifts than with the giver. Is not this just the reason why the Lord will not trust us with a river?--because it would unconsciously take His place in our hearts. "Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation," Deut. 32:15. And the same evil tendency exists within us. We sometimes feel that we are being hardly dealt with because God gives us a brook rather than a river, but this is because we are so little acquainted with our own hearts. God loves His own too well to place dangerous knives in the hands of infants.
This quote challenges me to remember all the times I've groaned about the brook being given when I wanted and felt sure that I deserved a river. Truth being, I didn't even deserve a mud puddle. Convicting to realize that in His wisdom of the intent and depth of my heart, I would have drowned myself in a river.
Understanding myself in this way has occurred through my parenting. The boys frequently request the river of toys, the river of candy, the river of movies and video games. I know that they think themselves hardly dealt with when instead I provide the brook. Yet, I know the consequences of undisciplined indulgence that turns them to quibbling, arguments, selfishness, and covetousness. My wisdom has not God's infallibility, yet I know that their youth and immaturity requires training and refining before being granted the deeper rivers of freedom and provision. Their needs are met, and their desires are considered. They do not go without, but they must learn to trust the provision they receive--as must I.
And even greater than that, it presses upon my heart that they should not see me as the benefactor of what they receive, but that their young hearts would learn to trust in God as the ultimate benefactor, and their mom only His instrument. It is a weighty matter of constancy in prayer and humility--for them and myself.
But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33