By: Sarah Oates-Walker
Several times a week, I will have this conversation with my daughter:
“Mommy, I’m really hungry today!”
“How about some fruit?”
“NO, I’m REALLY hungry today!”
“Ok, Crackers and cheese, eggs and toast, tuna sandwich……..?”
“NO, I would like a cookie”
“I don’t have a cookie for you. You can have anything else that I have already offered you.”
“I don’t want any of those!”
“I guess you are not really hungry then, are you?”
She will tell me she is hungry, starving even, but she will only accept a cookie or some other equally non-nutritious snack food.
How often do we do this with God?
“God, I really want to see You move in my church – as long as it is in a way that I feel comfortable with.”
“God, I really want to live my life for You, what do You want me to do? ……….But, I don’t really want to do this or that.”
“God, You are my Lord, and I give all that I am to You! But not THAT…”
How often do we cry out for God’s help and direction, only to ignore His answer, His presence or His voice because it is not what we wanted to hear, or doesn’t look the way that we wanted it to?
It makes me wonder how many amazing opportunities I have missed out on because I was afraid and unwilling to open my mind to the possibility of something new! It’s funny that we can cling to the Bible and all of its stories of God’s power, and of the heroes of the faith. They are incredible, inspiring – and all very different! God rarely seems to do things the same way twice. However, when it comes to God moving in my own life, I am not quite so comfortable with the parting of the seas, with fighting giants, or even with something as simple as asking to pray for a stranger.
Having the same conversation with my kids daily about how hungry they are but yet fighting them to eat nutritious food is frustrating. I know they will enjoy all the things I offer them, but because they are not in the mood for food that is good for them, they are not willing to accept it.
God must feel frustrated towards us sometimes! We cry out for Him to intervene in our lives, but when it comes down to our willingness to accept the way He wants to move, how often we say “no.” That is not what I want right now, or that is not what I am comfortable with in this moment, or that is not my preferred way to see those prayers answered. I wonder how many times God has said to me, “I guess you are not really hungry for me then, are you?”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I need to remind myself that God has plans for my life! When I am feeling afraid or reluctant to move forward to where I think he is calling me to go, it is so important for me to remember that He knows best! He knows the outcomes of each decision I make, and he desires to see me safe and prosperous. His word is filled with promises to give me wisdom, strength and to know that he always goes before and behind me.