Ok, I know some people might get angry by the title alone, but if you read closely, you’ll understand my point. And I mean what I’m about to say. But don’t get me wrong, I respect and appreciate the fact that our faith is so strong that we’re willing to “turn it over to God” when times get tough. Now, before we begin, I must ask you: Are you calling on Him for help…
…or asking Him to do it FOR you?
Think on that for a moment. I’ll wait.
For what it’s worth, my life is no cakewalk. It never has been. From the time I was little, I learned that anything worth having is also worth fighting for. And believe me, I’ve fought in ways you can’t imagine because I know that nothing comes easy. I’ve accomplished most of what I set out to achieve and then there are those things that just didn’t happen. But I never walked away defeated or feeling as such. I know I did my best.
One thing I learned early in the game is that it’s not just knowing the answers, it’s the hows and whys. Even something as simple as asking my father a math question and being told to “figure it out”, then show him the results. I was good in math, but we all run into that occasional stumper from time to time. Dad knew math, very well, so I never believed he was masking any inability to answer or assist. I soon learned that what I wanted from him was not the answer, because the end result wouldn’t help me in class. What I needed was the way to get there and to follow that path to a workable solution. You see, knowing the correct formula and how to apply it made it possible for me to take on any problems the teacher threw at me.
Doesn’t that sound like life? Teaching a man to fish so he can eat for a lifetime, rather than giving him a fish so he could eat for a single day. Equipping, as opposed to enabling.
How often do you hear someone say, “turn it over to God”?
The Almighty is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
Who better to seek out when you’re in need?
But when and how often do you call on God to fix it?
Is it really, truly, out of your control?
This bill needs to be paid. This test needs to be passed. Your relationship needs salvaging. You really need this job.
It’s like weight loss. It’s one thing to say you need to lose weight. It’s another to identify the steps that need to be taken and follow through to fruition. Sometimes, you simply need to know what it is you TRULY require to get through. To get over.
If I AM to pray to God, I won’t ask Him to pay a bill. He ain’t gonna pop up at the account services center and say “I wanna put $200 on Kenny’s electric bill.” I will pray that photography opportunities present themselves so I can cover my bills and necessities.
I won’t ask Him to help me pass this test. I’ll ask that He grant me peace of mind to study hard and efficiently; to sleep peacefully; to retain as much as possible of what I learned and to remain focused on test day.
I won’t ask Him to salvage our relationship. I’ll ask that, be it His will, that she and I put Him first, then come to the table and not just listen to each other, but hear. That we find compromise and communication to work things out.
I won’t ask to get this job. I’ll ask that He touch the hearts of the interviewers and hiring managers so that they see what I have to offer and how it can benefit the team. And I’ll ask that my thoughts and answers be controlled, intelligible and applicable to what they ask and indicate that they need.
Now if someone needs a miracle, I’m going to pray for that too. One of my oldest and best friends suffered a near-fatal heart attack two months ago and I asked everyone to donate to his fundraising account and for their collective prayers for his healing. But I also asked God that the surgeons and attending team members be well-rested, assured and steady-handed. And yes, I did ask the Lord to heal him. It wasn’t a miracle, but he did need more than average blessings.
So yes, I believe that there is power in prayer. I believe in that whole-heartedly and there is nothing anyone can say or do to make me believe otherwise. I’ve offered some fervent prayers in my time and know that the results were anything but coincidence. I also know that God doesn’t give me what I want, when I want it. He gives me what I need when He deems it appropriate. The Lord works on His own time and it all fits in HIS design.
I also know that some of my prayers will not lead to solutions, but paths; a means to achieve them; a way to figure out my math problems.
Making more sense? I’m asking God for help, while knowing when to ask Him to help me help myself and others. I’m not saying, “Jesus, take the wheel.” If I did that on the highway, I’d probably coast through the median, into opposing traffic and cause OTHERS to call His name.
I need Jesus to light the way and help me find the road. Even the road less traveled; the tougher road, if necessary.
Yeah, no matter what, the road that will ultimately get me there.
And give me the energy to stay awake as I drive it…