Imagine the disaster your life would be if God granted every silly thing you asked for in prayer. That does not mean it is wrong to ask, just as it is not wrong for my eleven-year-old to ask if she may drive my car. But when our Lord says no to our prayers, like a caring father, it is always because He loves us too much to say yes.
While in New Delhi many years ago with my father, a home- less boy begging for money approached us as we tried to cross a busy street. He was rail thin, almost naked, and his legs were contorted upon themselves, yet he was surprisingly fast as he swung on his hands and kneecaps over the broken sidewalk. The boy shouted at us. “One rupee, please! One rupee!” Unable to outpace him, my father finally stopped.
“In response to our meager requests, God sometimes, but graciously, says no.”
“How about I give you five rupees?” he said. The boy was not amused. He pulled back his hand and gave a dirty look. He assumed my father was mocking him, joking about so lavish a gift. Who would give five rupees, the boy must have thought, when he only asked for one? He waddled away, dejected and cursing us for our cruelty. Then he suddenly stopped. He heard the sound of coins in my father’s pocket. As he looked back, he saw my father was holding up a five-rupee coin and placed the coin in the boy’s hand.
This is how I imagine God views us. We are destitute children with no hope apart from His help, but rather than asking our heavenly Father for what we need, rather than daring to hope He would give lavishly to those whom He created and loves, we lower our vision and ask for lesser things. In response to our meager requests, God sometimes, but graciously, says no. It’s not because we are seeking too much, but because He knows we are asking for too little. In our foolishness we reject Him. We turn away, cursing Him under our breath for not getting what we asked for.
When our Lord says no to our desires, it is because He wants to give us something far more valuable. He offers us Himself.
(Read more in Luke 10:28-42; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
by Skye Jethani
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