Jen’s Gem: Believe and You Will Receive
“Mommy, can I have this toy, pleeeeeeeease?”
I’m sure every parent has been the recipient of the above words – or something similar from their child as they look to convince them to give them something. Maybe it’s a toy or candy before dinner, but whatever it is, the child knows that his chances of getting it are going to require some heavy-duty begging.
The child goes to these extreme measures because deep down inside they know that their parents are not going to grant them their wishes. They know they have to persuade them, or more likely, wear them down, in order to secure that trinket or sugary treat.
Sometimes the parent gives in. Sometimes they stand firm. But this result is not necessarily dependent on the child’s actions, but more so on the parent.
I thought about this analogy a lot this week when it comes to prayer. Are we begging God for things like these little children? Are we presuming that we have to whine and cajole in order for Him to give us the things we want? Or – do we believe that He will do so because of who He is, not because of how we ask?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my dad’s 95th birthday. I spoke about how, despite being hospitalized just prior, that it’d be cool if he would live to celebrate this milestone. He did. As the days crept forward towards my son’s birthday, my dad was hospitalized again. As doctors began to hint of his last days, I prayed that he would stay with us until my son’s birthday passed. He did. Thanksgiving came and went, with my dad still here.
I thanked God that I was able to spend a bit of time with my Dad a couple of months ago while he was recovering in a nursing home. He hugged me. He told me he loved me. I rested my head on his shoulder and thanked him for being the best Dad ever. I showed him pictures of my kids and he smiled. I’ll treasure these memories forever.
As I prayed for my Dad to reach each of these milestones, I found myself understanding something about my relationship with God. I believed in my heart that God would give me what I asked for – not because of how I asked, or how much I asked, but because I believed He would.
There’s a big difference between begging and believing. When you beg God for something, inherently you really don’t believe He can or will do it. You have doubt. You may even negate your begging requests with words that contradict it, or perhaps you begin to worry or fear you won’t get it. You lack the confidence to stand firm in your request.
On the other hand, when you believe you’re going to get your prayer answered, your whole being aligns. Your words. Your actions. In fact, you may even take it for granted and forget about it.
Think about this example. You order something online. You select what you want, pay for it, and expect it to be delivered to you. You don’t worry that it’s not going to arrive. You don’t talk to your friends about a Plan B if it doesn’t. You trust that the merchant will fulfill its promise.
Take a look at this definition and the words “entire”, “absolute” as they relate to trusting God. There’s no wiggle room here. You either do or you don’t – no matter the circumstances. For much of my life, I trusted God when I’d see the positive results. When things didn’t go so well, hmmm.
In recent days, God has been clearly telling me that this lukewarm trust has to go. You either get in the game or stay on the sidelines. The funny thing is – I believe all of what God promises for other people – but have been hesitant for myself. Now that’s just silly as God is no respecter of persons. Everyone has an equal opportunity to God’s blessings.
I was blessed with many wonderful memories of my Dad, not only in his last days but my whole life. I know my Dad loved me and I trusted his wisdom in my later years. I also know that whatever I asked my Dad, he’d do his best to give it to me, without any begging. I believed he’d do it because of who he was. God works the same way. Whatever we ask of Him in faith, according to His will, we will receive.
My Dad passed away a couple weeks ago. As I grieve this loss, I am beyond grateful for all the lessons he taught me, the love he shared with me and my kids, and the legacy he left behind. He’s at peace knowing that he lived a full life and I’m a better person having known him.
As you go through your week, I encourage you to consider your prayer life. Are you believing for the things you are asking God for? Or is there doubt? The answer may surprise you.