“God Please…

granny_smith…let granny live.”  That was the prayer of Tim  a college age kid at my first church.  When he did not return after the Christmas break, I tracked him down. He told me that he “had given up on God”. His 89 year old granny had died on Christmas Eve. He said, “Pastor our whole family prayed that granny would live, but she died. We begged him”. I helped him understand that granny could not live forever; that God had given her a wonderful life —- much longer life than average and that death is essential to life itself. He was back at church the next Sunday.

Most everything I have seriously prayed for, I think God has pretty much given me. And the times he did not, I have been able to look back at some of them and see why it would have been bad for me to get the answer I had wanted. So when God promises to give us whatever we ask in prayer, it is conditional on God’s love for us. So it has to be something that is both good for us and under God’s will.

Without a doubt the hardest I ever prayed for anything in my life was that God would put our church back together after it split in 2005. I cannot adequately tell you how I begged, wailed and pleaded with God on that one! I am a person of great faith so for the longest I thought that he would give me what I wanted.  He did not. It took several years for me to see how better off I am at the new church than the old and that is not a slam on the old one at all.  By not answering my prayer God has given me more than I could ever have imagined. But at the time, I could not see that.

Through that process, God opened a new chapter in my ministry. It would be about more than getting new folks to show up. Now it would be about shepherding the flock that he had blessed me. The next time you are begging God for this or that stop long enough to understand that he will never do anything to hurt you. You cannot lose.

Something to Think About

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