Ask Him Again!
This image popped up on my Facebook feed a while back and I took a screenshot in the hopes of reminding myself to not allow my hopes, faith and prayers to be swayed by God’s timing or my inability to understand the big picture.
I love talking to the Lord but so often I think He views me like a small, aggravating toddler who is on repeat. I often feel that He gets tired of hearing the same prayers spoken in the same way for what seems like the millionth time. However, the reality is that first, he is a Father and He loves to hear from His children and second, my lack of motivation to keep praying certain prayers might stem less from how He views the prayers and more from my frustration that these prayers haven’t been answered in my timing. I get tired, frustrated and sometimes downright huffy when the answers don’t seem to come when I want or think I need them.
I also have a bad tendency to pray something along the lines of…”Please arrange X but only if it’s in Your will which it probably isn’t so don’t worry about it that much because I know logically that it won’t happen but I know nothing is impossible with God so You CAN do this but I know You probably won’t, etc., etc., etc.” Not exactly a prayer of faith! I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it again...When I pray this prayer it isn’t because I don’t have faith that the Lord can do anything but rather it’s that I’m afraid His will might take me to places I do not want or away from places I desire. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment so to speak. (I’m just being honest here.)
The good news is that the more I grow in my walk with the Lord the more I find that my desires are not as far away from His will as they once were and I know logically that His future plan far outweighs anything I could ever dream of in my lifetime. However, where I find my prayer life truly struggling is in the timing of the Lord. I get tired of waiting for certain things. In fact, there are some requests that the outcome could go either way at this point and I wouldn’t care as long as I have some sort of answer. I hate being in limbo but that is not how the Lord works and for good reasons. There are so many steps of my life that the Lord has revealed in pieces because that is exactly how it needed to be and there are so many moments that I waited ages for that were not only worth the wait but would have been a disaster if they occurred at any other time.
Chris Tomlin describes the Lord as a good, good Father and I know that is 100% true. I think of how many blessings and gifts my earthly father has bestowed on me in my life and he’s only human. How much more does your heavenly Father want to give you good things? The Lord looks down on us as little children and sends us “good and perfect gifts” from above (James 1:17) just like an earthly father does with his children. I think of Christmas gifts I so desperately wanted as a child that worried me to death and yet my parents knew those gifts were purchased or an even better option was coming that I didn’t even know was an option in the first place. I can only imagine how exciting it was to watch my brother and I unwrap these gifts after weeks and months of begging. Oh to see the joy and excitement these trivial items brought us. Now, imagine the Lord watching as we pray and cry out for certain things and him looking down on us saying, “Just wait until this time next year. You will be crying tears of joy!” or “I know this is not what you wanted but you have to trust that it is part of the better plan ahead. Be patient!”
How do I know the Lord is faithful in the midst of the waiting? Look at this picture. You may look at this and see a gorgeous little face but what I see is 1 Samuel 1:27, “For this child I have prayed…” This beautiful little girl is my best friend’s daughter and an amazing answer to many prayers and much waiting. The Lord had this blessing planned long before she was desired, long before my friend was married, long before my friend was even born. That didn’t make the waiting any easier but the waiting also didn’t change the truth of God’s plan.
You may not understand. You may have to wait. You may even have to accept that the answer is no but keep asking Him. Even when you feel defeated, worn out or just plain mad. Keep asking Him because you may find that His plan doesn’t change but change might occur in you!
“KEEP on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. KEEP on seeking, and you will find. KEEP on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NLT, emphasis mine)