From Greg Twombley, Director of Ministries & Praise Team Leader …
When I was a young boy, I would see something that I wanted so badly – the inflatable Sinclair Gas Station green dinosaur, the go-kart – but I did not ask since I knew it was likely out of reach of the family budget. The former a frivolous thing, not really necessary for any real purpose, and the latter was not only expensive, but perhaps dangerous.
So I didn’t ask.
As I grew, I did not often ask, since I did not believe that what I asked for would come my way.
One day, I asked God for help with a simple thing – staying awake and safe while driving. The next thing I knew, I had arrived home safe and sound seemingly without effort. Wow! God was listening. So, I tried again. I asked God for help as a young dad, as a young teacher, as a young musician, and before me unfolded a new world of opportunity and ways to serve and be a blessing while at the same time being blessed.
This ask thing was working!
Then I began to ask God for help in all kinds of ways. I would map out how I wanted things to go and then ask God to make it so. And, then I came into some bitterly disappointing days. God didn’t seem to be listening any more. Or so I thought.
In fact, as I look back, God was and is always listening. However I was leaving out an important part of the picture. I would pray the Lord’s Prayer and an important line began to stand out: “Thy Will be done”. In this I began to realize that God, like any good dad, and the Perfect Father and Author on how to be a Good Dad, was always thinking of me and caring for me. This means He was looking out for what is best, and not necessarily what I might ask for on a whim or for the moment. God was watching over me and answering my prayer to let His Will be done, to let His Light shine through me, to help me be a blessing for others.
So what about the times it seems God doesn’t answer prayers? Well, when I look at the words of James who says we should delight in our trials, and Paul who says that in our weakness we are made strong, I find comfort in my discomfort, for there will be amazingly better times ahead. I know that when my Dad, a strong-willed and loving disciplinarian, limited my freedom and my immediate happiness, I now see that it was for the greater good in my life and all around me.
God is an amazing Father, an amazing Dad, who always holds forth what is best for us. So we ask. And through faith, which can move mountains, we know that God takes great delight in answering our prayers. His Will be done!