“You may be at odds with God right now. You're not happy with the way your life is turning out. You may be praying and pleading with God. But is it possible you don't really want God? Is it possible you just want what you think God can give you? One of the things I believe God is teaching me in my life these days is that at times we want our dreams more than we want God. We want what God does for us instead of just God.” ― Pete Wilson, Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?
I'm not happy with the way my life is turning out. Right now, I have cancer. I have no job. I have a car, but nowhere really to go. I have mouth sores from the chemo that have forced me to eat applesauce and oatmeal for every meal for two weeks. I have dreams that are dashed. I have a 5th grader who suddenly thinks I am the most uncool person on the planet and a 3rd grader with hurt feelings. I have someone close to me who is facing a giant mountain, and we are climbing it together. Nope, this life is not at all what I had pictured.
Yes, I pray and I plead. Lately, my prayers go something like this: "Lord, I am begging you for healing. Please take this awful disease and kick it where the sun don't shine. Please be Jehovah-Rapha, the Healer God, and prove your power through me." OR "God, why did you make tweenagers to be so ornery? Why doesn't this kid remember that I went down through the valley of the shadow of death to get him into this world? Please help him realize that I deserve his best moods and affections every day." OR "God, I can't talk to you today because my mouth hurts TOO MUCH!!! Please fix these sores so we can try again tomorrow." Amen and amen.
I want things from God. I want for God to zap the kid at school who is being unkind to my Little Middle. I want my body to be whole and healthy. I want a big fat bank account. I want a long life with my husband and a house in the country with two rocking chairs on the front porch. I want to eat hamburgers again. I want to dance with my sons at their weddings, and then be Super-Grandma when their babies come along. I want normal. I want, I want, I want....
But the Christian life isn't about my plan. It's not my way or my wants. When I accepted Christ some 30 yeas ago, I accepted his ways. I realized that things might not always go the way I wanted them to, and I said that as long as I had Jesus, I would be OK with that. Have I really gotten so caught up in what's wrong that I bypass Who is right?
The truth is, I don't want to be that shallow or that selfish. At age six, I didn't know much, but I knew that I was a sinner. I needed a Savior, and I still need Him as much today as I did then. It's time for a reality check. It's time to re-read the old promises and claim them as my own. It's time for refreshment and renewal. It's time to be still and focus on what I need.
I need Jesus.
My new prayer might sound a little something like this: "Less of me, more of You, no matter what may come. I want all of You, and only You, Jesus."