You know those times when God answers prayer the way you don’t really want Him to answer prayer? And you kind of passive-aggressively keep praying for that same thing as if God never provided an answer? You ignore the good He’s doing in your life, or how He’s using you to glorify Him, because, “Dang it, God, that’s not– thank You, but that’s really not what I meant!”
You throw His goodness back in His face like a petulant child. Sure, you might not show it on the outside. You might not even be aware of it. You might even be mildly grateful for what He has provided in place of your heart’s prayer. But you’re dissatisfied. And then as God resolutely continues to click doors shut on that one prayer, you complain. You cry out, “Why, God?” because it sounds more holy than the, “What the heck are you doing right now?!” furiously beating around in your thoughts.
And you know exactly why, really. Because you read His word. You talk with Him. You fellowship with His people. You dwell in His promises. But you ask anyway, because even a knowledgeable Christian is still a sinner. And you feel like a drooping plant, because despite your diligence to delight in His presence in quiet time or at church or in Bible studies, you don’t seem to be growing at all.
Yeah, me too.
I pray for a job. I pray and I pray and I pray.
And I get two part-time jobs, both with people of God! Praise God!
But doors to full-time jobs doing what I studied and what I love continue to slam shut.
And so I continue to pray for a job.
Because these part-time jobs God has graciously provided don’t count in my world. They’re sub-par They’r’e not what I need. There must be more. Try again, God.
I thank God for hard spiritual battles and conviction. It means He isn’t letting me go. It means God has been working, because my soul stings with repentance.
So I don’t have a full-time job doing what I want. But He gave me two fun part-time jobs that inspire productivity and fellowship with women in my church.
So we’re buying a house on one full-time income. But He provided an amazing home in a beautiful part of Youngstown.
So all the good jobs are in Pittsburgh or Cleveland. But He sparked a love for a broken, stubborn city and planted us in a group of believers who harbor that same love.
No, I don’t know what God is up to. But do I really need to know? How often I need to be reminded that God holds my life in His hands; how quickly I forget His promises.
Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.