The other day Everett and I were talking. As he is getting older he often questions my faith in order to develop his own understanding.
Our conversation on this particular day was about signs from God.
Everett: “So you’re trying to tell me a green light is a sign from God, Mom?”
Mom: “It can be, to a person who is in a hurry or just needs something small to turn their day around. Lots of times signs from God are small and only mean something to the person they were given to.”
Everett: “I asked God for a sign, but he didn’t give me one.”
Me: “Maybe he didn’t think you were in the right mental state to recognize a sign from him.”
I was Everett once. As a teenager I asked God for a lot of things, to make me popular, to make me pretty, to make me not care about what people thought of me. For a boy to like me. To give me a sign that he was out there. To help me not feel so alone.
But I think that the way you ask God for things is as important as what you ask God for. God looks into your heart and he knows the real reasons behind your requests. Maybe it’s a need to be liked, be popular, be famous, be powerful.
I think about the motivations behind the prayers I’ve prayed that have been answered. What has been in my heart at the time? It wasn’t until I fully gave myself over to God, before I fully put my life into his hands and trusted in him that I started to really see the result of my prayers. I wasn’t until I prayed, “Thy will be done.”
In 2 Corinthians 1 Paul gives praise to the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.”
Prayer isn’t just about asking God for things or to help us. It’s also about really giving our troubles to God. If you are still feeling worried or overwhelmed about your job, or a situation in your life that you have prayed about, then I would argue that you haven’t really given that situation over to God. Like Paul we will have times in our life where we experience great pressure, but those times “happen that we might not rely on our ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.” 2 Corinthians 1:9,10
Prayer isn’t just about asking God for things, it’s about turning to God with an open heart and trusting that he will provide what you truly need, even if it’s not what you asked for.
I was listening to the radio yesterday and I heard these words jump out at me in a song by Mendisa that I have listened to a million times (song below). “Go ahead and fall into the arms of Jesus.” I could feel the tears welling up. When I talk about the freedom I find in Jesus, that’s what I’m talking about. Falling into his arms and trusting that he will take care of me.
When Everett asked God for a sign, I know he was looking for proof, a reason for his faith. But I also know that he didn’t really expect God to provide that sign. He didn’t trust. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think God will answer his prayer. I just think that God will give him that sign when he’s ready, when he has eyes that can see it.
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” I Corinthians 13:11
Trust in God. He will NEVER let you down.