I’ll admit it right here for the whole world (or at least my tiny slice of cyberspace) . . .
I’m not exactly happy about the fact that God hasn’t answered some of my prayers the way I’d have liked. In fact, I’ve been more than a little ticked about hearing “No” or “Not now” from time-to-time when I’ve prayed in earnest.
Sometimes I feel like God is downright unfair. (Notice I said feel? I know God is just and merciful. But often thoughts and feelings are at odds with each other.) So, I’ve had a few foot-stomping, crying jags over the years. I’ve felt like the fish in Cat in the Hat who says, “Do I like this? Oh, no! I do not!” or when the Cat in the Hat kids could do nothing but sit, sit, sit, sit because the rain kept them inside? They did not like it. Not one little bit!
Isn’t it interesting how kids (and fish?) feel perfectly comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings?
So let’s be honest.
It’s more than OK to share our whole heart with God—even the thoughts and feelings we feel guilty having. Jesus did. He wept. He prayed for the crucifixion and coming weight of the world’s sin to pass him by.
There are many examples of Bible “greats” who have lamented, been angry, prayed like crazy for something different than what they got. The Bible “greats” were human, just like you and me. So what made them “great”?
I think because they dared to be real—authentic—vulnerable in the presence of God and humankind. I think the “great” are those who show us that when life doesn’t work out like we hope or plan or even pray, we still seek God anyway, striving to know him, to love him, to trust him, to believe he knows best because we know so little, and to thank him for who he is and for how much he loves.
So, how about getting really real with God and at least one friend, like David did—the man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) who became one in spirit with a friend, Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1)?
How about crying out loud to our Maker and praying for what we think and feel we really, really want and need and then letting God decide, believing God knows best because God knows all?
How about giving up the poison of comparison that drips through our systems with every thought we entertain that’s not like Christ’s?
And how about not only giving up coveting, but giving up the weighing of pain and suffering? You know, the “I shouldn’t feel bad because so-and-so has it so much worse” or “I should just give thanks for all God’s gifts and stop, stop, stop thinking about those other parts of my heart that are breaking.”
Think we should just stop it? Stuff it? Go around being stoic?
So how’s that working?
Want to get rid of the coveting and comparing that’s killing us? Want a peaceful mind and heart?
Do what Jesus did. Do what all the “greats” did . . .
They were all honest with God and with some friend(s). Yet, they all wanted God’s will and not their own in the end. Truth is, God’s will will become our will in the end, if we love him more than we love anything or anyone else.
Do we want God more than anything/anyone? Will we keep seeking him and loving him even when we don’t get what we think we want? Will we yield to HIS way and take the HIGHway through this temporary life where God is preparing us for eternal life?
If the answer is “yes”, then we have nothing to fear here. Go ahead and get real. God’s been waiting. And so have some others who need someone—anyone—with just enough faith, hope, and love to show them the way to think, feel, and yield.