Ever felt like prayers are not answered? Ever wondered if prayers are even heard? Ever wonder why it’s taking so long for prayers to be answered?
My experience has been that prayers are answered in God’s PERFECT timing. Never early. Never Late. But I have also learned recently that maybe just maybe I’m asking for the wrong thing and I’m approaching this prayer thing all wrong.
It occurred to me that maybe by me praying for something specific, I am trying to control the outcome of something. That would then mean that I’m not really trusting God and his plan for me. Why am I feeding Him the answers. He knows. He know every hair on my head, every misstep I’m going to make, why am I telling Him how I want something to be resolved.
Sooooo, I’ve changed how I pray. There’s a lot more prayers like…..God you know the situation and what is best for everyone involved, thy will be done. Or even that Carrie Underwood song Jesus take the wheel comes to mind.
This has taken me out of it. And when I started to do this, I have felt lighter, not so heavy hearted. And amazingly, things have started to happen. Things that were bothering me, are still happening but not bothering me at all anymore.
I’m reminded of this story…..not sure where it’s from but some wise story teller shared this….
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help. Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.” To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
This story illustrates that sometime the answer is not what we expect. It’s not a big party. It’s doesn’t have a sign to say this is it. That sometimes it’s a rowboat, when we thought a yacht was coming. Or it’s a motorboat when we expected a cruise ship. Or it’s a helicopter when we wanted a jet plane. Or sometimes it is the rowboat when we thought no one cared. Or sometimes it is the motorboat when we thought no one noticed and sometimes it is the helicopter when we though we were not deserving.
Answers come in unexpected places. A text from a friend. A work client saying something nice. The point of view from a kid, if you just listen.
In the serenity prayer it says….accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. And C S Lewis said ‘hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny’
Will there be hardships? I guarantee there will be. And will I end up where I think I will? Probably not. But where you will end up is better then you ever imagined.