As Mick Jagger says…you can’t always get what you want…
So, how do we react when the things we pray for intensely get answered with a big fat NO?
Have you ever experienced that? In my daily reading today, in the Valley of Vision I came across this wonderful little paragraph:
I thank thee for the many prayers that have been refused
I have asked amiss and do not have,
I have prayed from lusts and been rejected,
I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness.
About a year and a half ago I was inches away from relocating to take a job. I prayed intensely about this, Melanie was on board, I had gone thru 5 (count ’em) FIVE interviews, we were really starting to get excited.
Then I get a cold, cruel e-mail from the admin simply saying, in form-letter-like fashion – “Thanks for your interests, but we are pursuing other candidates.”
In a word – I was near devastation. I was looking for the quickest route up to the roof in order to jump off. I recall reading the e-mail out of the corner of my eye, and having someone come in my office to ask me a question and I didn’t hear a word they said. I just needed to go and call my wife and start the old “Can you believe that!?” routine.
A year and a half later, I am very thankful that God didn’t say yes to my request – for a variety of reasons.
This isn’t going to be one of those “See, everything has a reason” posts. I really get kinda nauseous when I hear that. The reason is that we need to submit to God and his sovereignty, and following him has a high cost – because ultimately it’s not about us, it’s about Him. We are like King Julien who says “It’s all about ME.”
Today I was in Luke 14 where Jesus is talking about the cost of discipleship. In a word – if you want to follow me, it’s not going to be about you, it’s going to be about ME – so you’d better really seriously consider that before you become my disciple and understand what you are getting into. Luke 14:33 says:
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Look at what Christ renounced for me? His LIFE. Temporarily…His GLORY, when he came to Earth on mission to be our payment, our justification, our righteousness. He calls us to be ready to do the same for him. For in losing our very life for Him – we will actually save it.
So, do I always understand and accept that perfectly? Oh heck no. But these passages are such good reminders of what we are called to as followers of Christ.
It goes against our own selfishness, right?
I think that may be why Jesus uses such strong language here, he knows our selfish hearts.