Watch What You Ask For

Jus’ over a year ago I bit down hard on my faith. I became a true and hardened believer in Christ Jesus.

To this end, I have made it a practice to study my bible daily, pray as often as I can, attend church regularly and work on my spiritual habits. That also means I have stumbled and fallen more than once. And there have been more than a few times I have discovered myself surprised by occurrences.

I visited my sister’s church and went through the first steps of a ‘Sozo.’ I was uncomfortable with it when someone said I was a ‘prophet.’ That put me up there with Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, and the likes. I know better than that.

My prayers have placed me on the humorous end of God’s funny bone a couple of times as well. There are days I feel as if I am about to be crushed by my debts, so I have prayed to God to give me the strength to carry on with the burden.

Well, my friends, I opened my mailbox and found a bill from California for 108 thousand dollars for my mother’s hospital care when she was dying. It came with an envelope and receipt that said. ‘Please remit in full.’

I looked up at Heaven and said, “God, this ain’t what we discussed.”

But I knew that I had to trust in him and I jus’ kept praying and going about my work, trying hard not to worry. At the end of the week, I received another notice from California. This one said that because my mom had a child with a disability, state law exempted me from having to pay the bill.

There is also a bit of humor in what I call the ‘Novice’s Approach to Prayer Mistake #l.’ It’s like jumping out of an airplane with a parachute and no operating instructions.

You have an idea how to use it but you’re not certain of the way it works and you have no reference point of what will happen when pulling the rip chord or landing on the ground.

My prayer was simple, “God, please make me more like Jesus.”

I had no idea about its ramifications. Suddenly, I suffered things that were horrible.

My mom passed away, my wife was in a head-on accident, my wife’s mother died, I lost my job, a close friend died, my family stopped talking to me. The list went on and on.

I got mad at God for letting all these bad things happen to me. It dawned on me a few months back that I had gotten pretty much what I had asked for. I had asked to be more like Jesus.

Jesus suffered. He had no home of his own, his home town disowned him, his family thought He was off his nut when he claimed to be the Messiah, he was nearly stoned in the Temple, nearly tossed off a cliff, was wrongly accused, was beaten, and finally nailed to a Cross.

First, I am not comparing myself to our Lord, Jesus Christ. I jus’ asked for something that was unattainable for me and God had to show me how unreasonable my request was.

Secondly, this is not to say that God had anything to do with all those ‘bad’ things.’ I realize He lets Satan doing things to us so that God can draw us closer to himself, which is what He did.

I am close enough now to know that I’m certainly not good enough to be like Jesus, so I am back at Prayer 101, “God, please be in me in everything that I do today, amen.”

Finally, I am happy that the Lord blessed me with the ability to beg for mercy when I know that I am overwhelmed. And that He gave me a sense of humor, too. I have used both wisely in this case, because I am certain that had I not asked God for his gentle mercies, Satan would have found some sick son-of-a-gun willing to staple my hide to a wall somewhere.

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