Maybe I’m not the only one who has had lifelong struggles with various things- with circumstances I’ve asked the Lord to intervene, to fix or make better, or to equip me to bear more graciously. But the answers don’t seem to come, despite years and years of praying and working.
But I continue to pray, and then I proceed to try to fix them myself. I try to change, to be a better person, so that I will have the Lord’s favor; thinking that maybe if I improve my behavior, my thought life, become more faithful in church or giving or other spiritual disciplines, that He will be more likely to answer my prayer in the way I want. But still the struggle continues.
Then I decide He’s not answering because I’m being greedy in what I’m asking of Him. I take a closer look at the thing and pray something like this, “Lord, if You would just do this one small thing for me….” And this place of praying for small things seems to be where I have lived for a long time. God hasn’t answered the big things, so it’s like I have felt that I’ve needed to break my petitions up into smaller pieces. Oh, this is so, so very wrong!
Last night, I was reading through Psalm 34, and I was bowled over by the repeated use of David’s language about our all-of-it God. Here’s what I’m talking about:
verse 4- God “delivered me from ALL my fears.”
verse 6- God “saved him out of ALL his troubles.”
verse 9- “For to those who fear Him there is NO WANT.”
verse 10- “But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of ANY GOOD THING.”
After reading this Psalm through a few times, I made the commitment that I was going to start praying bigger prayers. My God is an all-of-it God. He is in no way limited when it comes to answering my petitions. Instead of asking Him for the scraps and tidbits, I’m going to boldly ask Him for a full meal. And then, I’m going to stop trying to earn what He wants to give me out of His heart of love and grace for me.
I expect that, once I rely on His goodness and mercy, that I will find a treasure of good things springing from His heart. We can never, never ask Him for too much.