“Mom, can I have a two dollars? The Fall Festival is Friday night. Can I have two dollars, pleeeeeeeeaaaseee? I want to be able to do some stuff while I am there.” My dear daughter asks.
“We’ll see, Hun” I reply. The usual parental reply…. secretly means (it’s only Monday. Let me evaluate your actions this week and see if going to the Fall Festival is the best thing for you at this time. Let me make sure what’s-his-name isn’t the only reason you want to go. yada yada yada)
Two hours later….. “Mom, I need that two dollars.” Her whining pitch climbs a little higher. Her hands clasped together. Her knees just inches from the floor.
This goes on for days. She begs. I listen. I wait to give a reply. She waits for the answer to her prayers.
Friday morning rolls around. “Mom. I told you I need that two dollars. The Fall Festival is tonight. Please, Mom.” Her voice gets almost demanding. Hands on hips. Tears in her eyes. It’s panic time. The clock is ticking and she doesn’t have her answer yet. Off to school she goes with just enough of a chip on her shoulders to make me think she has little faith in her mom. Pick her up from school….same thing, except this time the tears are rolling out. “Mom, it’s tonight. I need it.”
The Fall Festival starts at 6 p.m sharp. Lord knows Mikayla’s in there primping as soon as she busts through the door after school. She looks beautiful. Nice sweater and gorgeous jeans she’s designed herself. We’re in the car booking it up the road to the festival. We pull into the parking lot of the school. She gets out of the car with her head hung low and begins walking away.
“Mikayla,” I stop her before she gets too far. She slowly turns around.
“Your two dollars.” With my hand stretched out, I wave the two dollars in the nice fall evening air. Her eyes light up and she runs towards me. “I thought I wasn’t going to get it,” she replies in a softer voice than she’s had all week.
“Why,” I ask. “I didn’t give it to you until you needed it. You didn’t need it until now.” As she wraps her arms around me and nestles her head in my chest for just a moment, I whisper “Next time…try trusting me a bit.”
As she walks away, a HUGE flashing light goes off in my head. I do that to God!!! I ask for something I either believe I need or just desperately want. I beg and beg. I point out my time-line. I wait with my foot tapping and my eyes on the clock. And just as it seems time is running out God shows up with His answer.
He doesn’t always give us what we want. He does give us what we need and thankfully not always what we deserve. But He gives us what we need WHEN we need it. Not a minute before. No amount of begging or whining brings about the answer we’re hoping for.
When we send up our prayers, we are to pray believing we will receive. We are to have faith that God will provide at the precise moment we actually have a need. Waiting is hard. I, for one, am not much of the waiting kind. I tend to have an addiction to instant gradification. I want what I want , when I want it, and I want it now. All of it. Thankfully, the Lord knows better and He gives me what I need when I need it.
Next time you pray, remember Mark 11:22! (and wait in faith).