I heard the screams long before I could see him, but as I wheeled my grocery cart around to the next aisle of the store, there he was!

With angry tears streaming out of squinty eyes, the little boy was shouting, “Gimme it!” His mom glanced at me for a moment. I won’t debate the merits of her actions, but, embarrassed and worn down, she grabbed the cheap trinket and tossed it into her cart.

I think I recognized that kid. He looked a lot like me. Yes, I’ve often been the willful child. And sometimes I’ve even pleaded with God, “Why not? Why can’t I have it?” On occasion, God’s given me what I wanted, but not because I wore Him down. No, I think He wanted me to see what happens when I put myself in charge.

What we think is best is not necessarily the best that God desires for us. In Isaiah 55:8, the Lord said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.”

In his book Days of Grace, tennis champion Arthur Ashe paraphrased James 1:5 when he wrote this advice to his young daughter: “Ask God for the wisdom to know what is right, what God wants done, and the will to do it.”

That’s just the kind of sincere prayer that God wants to hear from His children.