You’ve probably heard that expression – “Be careful what you wish for.” Well, I think there is wisdom in that statement when it comes to our heartfelt prayers.
We mean well. We may even have the right intentions. But we don’t always gage the when-where-how-and-why of the response God may choose to give us.
We ask to be more patient. We seek to love our enemies. We ask God to help us forgive. And we want to grow our faith. All very noble prayers. Yet we often make these requests when we are feeling stronger, more at peace with our situations and surroundings. We fail to think that God could choose to test those very requests or to simply honor them in a time and place that will test us – greatly.
When that challenging situation arises that we beg God to take out of our lives – maybe we should pause first, and try to see that He’s simply answering our prayer to grow our faith and trust in Him. When we are hurt deeply and the tears stain our heart and faces and we tilt our head upward questioning God – “Why?” – maybe we should remember how we wanted to be people who could easily forgive. And when we are forced to endure a circumstance or situation for what seems like the “nth” time….maybe we need to recall the time we asked God to give us more patience as we waited on Him.
I think some of the very things we ask God to take out of our lives may be there because He’s put them there to answer our own prayer requests. They are there for our good. It doesn’t feel that way when we are uncomfortable or hurting, but it’s true. And often when we are on the other side of “it” we can see just how much we gained through the experience.
I really don’t like dealing with my fears and insecurities. But I know that I’ve told God that I want to trust Him. I want to grow my faith and I’m tired of being afraid. I’ve asked Him to give me strength and courage and to help me become a warrior so that Satan will flee from me. How better to do that than to put me in the battle? How can my strength or courage grow if it’s not tested?
I’d rather go through tough stuff and become a stronger, better person than not go through anything at all. It’s hard to say that during the moment of pressure when it’s upon me, but that’s truly how I feel when I come out the other side of those times. I just hope that instead of lashing out at God and asking Him, “Why?” that I will remember that He may simply just be placing something in my life because of my own earlier request.