My oldest daughter Sierra has come up with a little saying which has become common language amongst both my daughters. “Then I’ll never have ____.” Fill in the blank. If Melinda or I say they can’t have something the moment they ask for it, they whip out their little saying. Actually, it’s quite humorous to my wife and I.
In their world, if they can’t have it now, that must mean they will never have it. In reality they generally don’t get what they want the moment they ask for it for several reasons: they aren’t old enough to handle it, it isn’t healthy for them, it’s not a realistic request, or they need to wait a little while first. Saying no to these cute girls doesn’t mean they will never get their request, it means not now.
I think they stole this statement from me. I pray this style sometimes. If I don’t get an immediate request, then I believe it must mean I will never get it. If I don’t get the yes I was hoping for, I walk away disappointed and dejected. Then I echo my girl’s sentiment, “ Then I’ll never get ____.”
Here are a few reasons God doesn’t immediately give me what I want:
1. I’m not old enough to handle it. This is one of the main reasons we don’t receive what we desire. God is very intentional about developing our character. Character is what establishes our being. This keeps us charted on our course. If I don’t have character established and I receive the gift I ask for- this gift could destroy me. If somebody steps into power before they have developed their person, trouble is brewing. Perhaps they will become prideful, arrogant, and dependent on their gift and not on God’s grace. Allow your life experiences to gird you with enough character to balance out your gift.
2. Maybe what I’m asking for isn’t healthy for me. Truthfully, God isn’t required to give me just anything I want. He is a God who is more interested in giving me exactly what I need when I need it. I could cry for something God knows would carnivorously consume my character. The new job may bring in more money but it may also steal my time and cause me to covet. There does come a time when you thank God for unanswered prayers.
3. God isn’t our sugar daddy. Prosperity has more to do with your soul than your savings. Some of our requests aren’t realistic. They don’t have any biblical bearing; rather they are born out of our lust for stuff. Somebody else got a new house, so we want a new house. If they get that, why can’t I get it also? If God gave me a million dollars then I would pay my tithes, surrender my family, etc. Be realistic in your requests.
4. God is a God of timing. He is the God who is four days late praying for Lazarus. He allows Moses to go into the wilderness for 40 years. God let Israel wait 430 years for deliverance. Noah built the ark and 120 years later the promised rain came down. Then Noah had to wait a year and 17 days while the new land was prepared for him to possess. Sometimes you have to have the patience to wait. Praying doesn’t speed up or slow down God’s process. His predetermined moment for your miracle isn’t moveable. Can you wait? Can you pray again? Do you have the faith to stay at the altar? Like Simeon will you be at the temple when your miracle finally does show up? Abraham possessed the promises of God through faith and patience. Faith that believes God will do it now. Patience to show up tomorrow with faith believing God will do it now.