Why Do I Even Have to Ask?
“Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but when dreams come true at last,
there is life and joy.” Proverbs 13:12
Have you ever been at the end of your rope? You are sick and tired of being sick and tired. You’ve prayed without results and still held onto that last glimmer of hope through sheer willpower, but the embers have died leaving only cold ashes where your faith used to be. You can’t even muster enough emotion to cry because your heart has gone numb from it. That is where I was as a single mom, going to work at a low-paying job I hated, where some of the people were just mean, and my bills outdistanced my paycheck by a mile. I felt like I could not catch a break, and worst of all, I knew my situation was my own fault so I pretty much hated myself at that point, too.
That morning I was trying to pray but no words would come. Finally, I just said, “Lord, I don’t even know what to pray. Why do I even have to ask for my daily bread when You already know our needs, and have chosen not to answer my prayers anyway? Why can’t You just let me win the Lottery and I can stop begging You for the same thing every single day?”
To say I was a little bitter and had a bad attitude would be a masterpiece of understatement. In spite of my bad mood, God didn’t get mad. He patiently and lovingly said, “If I did that, you would stop seeking me. I want a relationship with you. I want you to know me, and the only way you can do that is if you talk with me every day.” Message received! I apologized for my bad attitude and asked Him to forgive me, and felt His forgiveness flood my heart as soon as I started to ask.
That period in my life comes under the heading of things I look back on with gratitude for the lesson, and even more gratitude that it is behind me and I won’t ever have to walk that particular road again. In fact, that lesson is the one for which I am most deeply grateful. I literally thank God every day that He taught me the value of walking with Him hand-in-hand, day-by-day, step-by-step. Had He not held my feet to the fire and made me walk through that trial – as long and hard as it was – I would not know Him as intimately as I do now. I cannot imagine my life today without that intimacy…the sweetest, most tender love imaginable, and a sense of security I never knew before coming into a close relationship with Him. Now I seek Him first thing every morning because I want to come into His presence and spend time with Him before I start my day. He's my favorite person.
I read a devotional recently that said if you are going through a time of trial, it means God knows you are already capable of overcoming that particular difficulty. Otherwise, He would help you avoid it until you are ready to walk through it. So, let this be an encouragement to you. If you are in a season of trial, you have everything you need to win the battle, or God would not have allowed it in the first place. Instead of trying to get out of it in your own strength, ask Him to teach you what you need to learn so you won’t have to do it all over again later. You’ll be amazed how quickly you get through it if you start cooperating with His plan and trust Him enough to align your purposes with His.
Prayer: Father God, thank You so much for the many lessons You have taught me. You are a kind, patient and loving Teacher, and a deeply wise Counselor. Help me trust You and submit to Your will for my life. Help me learn to align my intentions with Your purpose for me so I can be victorious in this life You have given me. Fill my heart with Your faith and love that I might become a true reflection of You in everything I think, say and do. I love You and want to know You more intimately, walk with You more closely and love you more deeply. Have Your way in me, Lord. I ask all this in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
“‘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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” Jeremiah 29:11-13
“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” Psalm 149:4