What’s In Your Wallet?

Mark 11:24

Mark 11:24You may have heard this phrase uttered by the celebrities in the Capital One® commercials. The intent of course is to get you to sign up for their credit card so that you can take advantage of the many benefits it offers.

 

This past week, a few stressful situations caused me to think about something similar. Not necessarily what was in my wallet but what was in my toolbox.

Years ago, I received a little yellow toolbox for a Christmas gift. It contained a flathead and Phillip’s screwdriver, a hammer and some pliers. All basic tools required for simple home maintenance. I love this toolbox. It has served me well through the years.

Unfortunately there was nothing in my trusty toolbox that could fix the stressful situations I encountered this week. I had to reach for something else. As I sat in my bedroom’s easy chair, devotional in hand, I realized what I needed. Prayers. And not just my own, but from others.

So at the crack of dawn, I texted my peeps and asked them to pray for me. In true form, each of them responded with a resounding ‘of course’! We do this regularly when we are each facing a trial. This group of four women who’ve become my rocks don’t think twice about sending their ‘cray cray’ single mom friend a boost of positive energy from time to time.

By the time my day ended, the situation had completely reversed itself and I began my weekend on a high note. Prayer works my friend. Prayer plus a healthy dose of faith. Mr. George Michael knew that.

You Gotta Have Faith

george_michael

In this particular situation, I not only got exactly what I wanted but more. That’s not always the case, right?Sometimes a prayer is answered but with less than desired results. I prayed that this weekend’s snowstorm would pass by. That didn’t happen. I prayed that the pork chop bone that got flushed down my toilet wouldn’t cause a problem. That didn’t happen.  I prayed the Christmas cookies I consumed over the holidays wouldn’t cause a weight gain. That didn’t happen either. (Ok – that was more like wishful thinking than prayer but…)

We don’t always get what we pray for and that can make us doubt if prayer works. It can also make us doubt that our prayers are even being heard. What’s worse? It can make us doubt that God even cares. While I have personal proof of none of these being true, nothing I say can make you believe the same. You have to experience it for yourself.

My son made this evident to me. He questioned why his beloved Laker’s basketball team is not performing better when he prays before each game. “Why won’t God let my Laker’s win? Doesn’t He want me to be happy?” Or a more recent prayer revolving around a final exam. “Why didn’t God let me pass that test? Didn’t He see how much I studied?”

Three Simple Truths

I’ve no good answers for my son other than these simple tenets of my faith. You can ask God for anything. He is always there. He always answers your prayers. Always. Now – whether you get what you ask for, well…We live in a world where we can get whatever we want whenever we want it. Fast food, grocery delivery, overnight shipping and more have given us an expectation of instant gratification. We don’t want to wait for anything. In fact, more often than not, you can witness some poor cashier or customer service rep getting yelled at because someone didn’t get what they wanted. Our sense of entitlement is so heightened that it’s frightening.

Gone are the days of waiting patiently for the things we want – saving our pennies for that special trinket we eyed in a store catalog, working hard for a promotion or so many other things that take time and effort. We want to place our order and poof – have it magically appear. And in the real world, sometimes that can happen but in God’s world? Not so much. Not typically anyway.

You see, God is not in the business of fast. He’s in the business of doing what is right for the people He loves. Now I’m not saying that He can’t do fast – He certainly can but we need to be prepared for that prayer request to take some time or possibly to go unanswered.

I prayed for my mom to be cured of the lung cancer that took her life. I prayed for the Alzheimer’s that is stealing my dad from me to go away. I prayed for my son to pass that final exam. None of these prayers were answered the way I wanted them to be. I’ll never know why. But that doesn’t stop me from asking or believing that God hears my pleas for help. He sees my struggles. He knows my pain.

As a mom, I know what’s good for my kids. Sometimes that means not giving them what they want when they ask. Sure they are unhappy. But I do my best to hold firm because giving in only results in more pain later on. God’s the same way. Like a good parent, He knows what’s best for me. In short, He’s got my back.

Next time I get myself into a pickle, I will reach into my trusty toolbox and I can be assured that God is in there. The reward for that faith and heartfelt prayer?  Let’s just say it’s so much better than free miles.

Do you know what’s in your toolbox?

Jen’s Gem: You can ask God for anything. Your prayers are always heard.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

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