God Keeps Crab Legs

Over the weekend, I prepared crab legs over the weekend. It’s been a minute. I honestly believe the last time was years ago, when the graduate candidate was an adolescent. My mother and I still laugh to this day about an encounter with her. One day, I inquired, “What do you want for lunch?” She responded, “Crab legs.” I was floored. The nerve I thought. I mustered the breath to say, “You know we don’t have any crab legs.” She responded, matter of factly, “Well, you asked me what I wanted.” I couldn’t help but laugh. She was right as rain. I asked, so my inquiry suggested that I was prepared to respond to whatever her desire. In the end, I made her something like a turkey sandwich, diagonally cut (go me), with two donut sticks and I was the greatest mom ever. However, from that day forth, I was cautious in my questioning of her meal desires.

In addition to the crab leg memory over the weekend, in conversation with the graduate candidate, she expressed a bit of disappointment with an incident related to working on her thesis. I engaged her again, much like I did nearly 20 years earlier, I asked, “Well what do you want?” This time, she responded, “I don’t know.” So, I suggested that she create a list, because she might be upset about something that at her core, is really not that significant to her or genuinely does not align with her desires.

I began to juxtapose the two incidents and introspectively, as I considered them against the backdrop of Father’s Day. My biological father passed away 45 years ago. Each of my uncles stepped in to serve as a father figure, and one person, my Uncle Leonard availed himself even more. When he passed away over 10 years ago, the last tangible “fathering” accessible to me in this realm ceased. However, the love and affection I feel from my Heavenly Father prevails daily. I imagined Him in relation to me and my interaction with my daughter. Sometimes I know exactly what I want, and other times, I don’t, but behave as though I do. Even though His omniscient state enables Him to always know what I am thinking, and even more, what I will ask, say or even pout, His love for me is unchanging. As such, no matter the extent to which I receive what I want or whether I am even able to articulate it, He loves to hear my voice – as He does yours and delights in our commune with Him.

Sometimes, not getting what we want can cause us to get in a funk, loose momentum or desire to disengage with what feels like a world of people always on the receiving end – always in receipt of an endless buffet of crab legs. To be sure, these are dark moments, but they soon pass. I am reminded of John 15:7 that affirms, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” What does it resemble to remain in God? It means not letting Him go when the crab legs are not immediately tangible. It suggests not being upset when we do receive them and have not the appetite to consume. It requires us being grateful for the turkey sandwich, and hopeful that the crab legs may be served for dinner, lunch the next day, a few weeks away, or sometimes even years. It means that we don’t loose our appetite for what God has planned even when it is not readily available to us.

Life sometimes feels like we’ve been ignored. Certainly, we must allow ourselves to embody “all the feels” that avail themselves to us. And when it feels like we are in fact remaining in God, but still not experiencing life as we’d imagined, we mustn’t neglect the opportunity to allow His words to remain as well for our sustainability. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Before the sadness or the disappointment sets in, it is critical for us to alter our thinking. As we meditate on the Word of God, the goodness of God, the lovingkindness of God, we are able to remind ourselves of the extent to which He rides for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Simply put, sometimes we get what we desire, sometimes we don’t, sometimes it comes later and sometimes we are unable to put into words what we hope for. Best part about our Heavenly Father, He knows it all. To be sure, God most certainly has “crab legs” prepared for the seafood lover like myself, the seafood lover turned vegan like the graduate candidate, the I only like catfish as far as seafood is concerned mother or the thank you for cooking period husband who has served as the most tangible example of fathering to a daughter that he didn’t birth. Thank you God for the reminder that the manner by which we receive is entirely up to us; and thank you Lawd for crab legs. You truly are a good, good Father!