Life doesn’t always (if ever) give us what we want. As a matter of fact, if we are feeling that we have all that we need, enjoy all that we want, and are loved by all who know us, then someone needs to check our pulse to see if we are still alive.
Life isn’t about being comfortable, it’s about living. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-13 that it is about living in the moment. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ESV
These verses say a lot about how to live in Christ’s care. First of all, Paul is stating that he is not asking for help. In the verses before these, Paul acknowledges that he had needs that his followers were not able to fulfill, but that he understood. Paul stated that he knew what it was like to go through the valleys of despair and climb the mountaintops of joy. He knew what it was like to have nothing and to have plenty. Paul knew that God would strengthen him for whatever the day brought his way.
Throughout our marriage my hubby and I have been through it all. There were times when we lived on pinto beans and potatoes cooked in a crock pot, because we didn’t have a stove to cook on. We’ve had our electric turned off and been chased by collectors for doctor’s bills. We had no person to turn to, but we always had God. And we had no doubt that He would supply what we needed. Were we always content? Of course not. We worried and budgeted what meager earnings we had. I’m sure we even had disagreements at times about the best way to manage that budget. And I remember times when I have prayed for a specific amount of money to meet one of those needs or specific healing for a loved one.
Yesterday I sat in the hospital room with my daughter-in-law as she waited to go into surgery and I was praying, Lord, direct the doctors to whatever needs to be corrected and give her the healing and strength needed at this time. It wasn’t until later when my son and I were sitting in the Waiting room that I was brought back to what my prayer should have been. I was reminded that when I pray, I should first get out of “me” mode and immediately start in “He” mode. God knows what is needed and before I get to the “God, please….” part, I must first address His sovereignty. “God, thank you for my daughter-in-law who has given my son a beautiful Christian wife and two beautiful children. Thank You for her spirit of loving You and her desire to serve You. Thank you for the hospital and doctors that care. God, You alone know the needs and I place her in Your capable Hands.” Then and only then, after I have addressed God’s greatness and grace, should I begin to let the Holy Spirit guide me in praying for specifics.
No, life doesn’t always give us what we want, what we specifically pray for, but if we pray for only what we want, are we going to be satisfied when God gives us what He knows is best? There is an old hymn that my Mamaw used to sing, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and one verse runs through my mind when I start to get down.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Yes, God’s Eye is always on this little sparrow and I know he watches and cares for me.
Be blessed today!