Like many, I often find myself caught up in wanting to pray or needing to pray. In the middle of the night, I awoke feeling the need to pray. As I prayed about what I felt was given to me to pray, another picture formed in my mind. Actually, two pictures.
The first was a scene with me, running in the house, telling my parents, they “needed” to see something. I am sure you have seen the scene. The child bursts into the house, the parents look towards him or her. They indicate “wait a moment”. The child starts to squirm and get antsy, waiting to tell what is on his or her mind. Finally, it is “their turn” and a string words begin to spill forth. “Urgency” accentuating each and every word. Sometimes a discovery they made or the sounds of an ice cream truck going by. But it is now. This minute.
As I thought about it, I began to think how in very few instances the grownup jumped up and ran to do something. (Unless, it was “Larry is hurt”…again…) I know as a parent and a grandparent, I never did a lot of jumping up over things. And I don’t think God does that either. He never rushed, over Lazarus’ death.
The second picture I had was again of myself as a child. I wanted a cat. In retrospect, I am not sure “why” I wanted a cat, but I did. I remember running to tell my parents. They listened (I think.) and said “no”. So, true to my nature I went to my friend Beck and said “its okay”. I got the kitten in a box. It had a little bed, some food and what I later found out was cat litter. (All the cats I ever saw went outside or never went to the bathroom.) So, I took the box and went to the furthest reaches of our finished basement and put the box there. I went up stairs and either began to devise a story and a reason or I just went outside to play, safe with my secret.
Not to long after, I heard my mom “calling” my name. (Fairly certain it was my whole name; first, middle and last…) I was called into the dining room. There was the cutest little cat. And my mom and dad.
The cat had escaped, knocking over tools and such in my dad’s workshop. My mom was doing laundry in the laundry room and heard it. She found the cat. And the box.
I am pretty sure I had a phenomenal story about God answering prayer or something because I wanted a cat. The end result was my family fell in love with the cat. If there was a punishment I am sure it got mixed up with all my other ones.
I think that too often we bring our “urgent” appeal to the God who does not “do urgent”. Much like a child, I imagine that we just need to get our thoughts out on the table for Him. Perhaps it is a steady stream of “what is needed” here and now. But the longer I spend with Him the less I find the list part of my thinking.
I find myself just enjoying the comfort of being with Him.
Now my parents had told me “no” and I went ahead. God has told me “no” as well and sometimes I have gone ahead. (One of the oft quoted lines by a friend at work when situations arise and “bending the rules” might be necessary is “better to ask forgiveness after than permission now”.) But the more I trust God with my life the more willing I am to accept His “no’s”.
Too often we either expect Him to say “no” (You have not because you ask not.) or we give Him the list, hoping we can slide one by.
Be assured that God loves you and He wants to spend time with you. That He is not urgent and desires to bring peace to you. As you pray for “things” know that He is there listening, just wanting to hear your voice. Like a child, your prayer brings joy to His heart. Your pain, I am sure is “painful” to Him and yet He is a good God, worthy to be praised.
Come to Him as a child and know that He is there.