Not long ago I had been working a lot of late hours and wanted to be off work early. I asked God to make it so, and proceeded about my day, which was turning out to be pretty lousy. I caught myself becoming angry and complaining, when I suddenly realized God had answered my prayer, I would be getting off early. I had spent almost the entire day missing the miracle of that answered prayer by looking at the circumstances surrounding the day.
The more I thought about the day, the more I realized that I had my own preconceived idea of how I thought God would answer my prayer. Since He did not use my way I did not recognize it when He answered.
I started to think about how natural it is for us to look at the circumstances of the events in our life, instead of seeing the miracle of a mighty God at work.
In 1 Corinthians 2:16 the Bible says “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him…”
Whenever we ask God for something we always have this perfectly drawn out scenario of how and when He will answer, much like a man named Naaman, in 2 Kings 5:1-15.
Naaman was a man who had leprosy and heard the prophet Elisha could heal him. He went to the prophet for healing and was told in verse 10 to “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.”
Instead of realizing the prophet had just said he will be healed, he became very angry and even furious! All because he had a preconceived idea of how the prophet, Elisha, would heal him.
In verses 11-12 the Bible says, ”But Naaman was furious and went away and said, ‘Behold I thought he would surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper. Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in a rage.”
Naaman was in danger of missing the most important miracle in his life just because it did not happen the way he thought it would! How many times have you asked the almighty God for something and then become frustrated because He did not answer in the way you expected?
How many times have we asked God to work in our children’s lives, but become angry when things seem to be falling apart for them? How many times have we asked for healing of a loved one and God took them to heaven (giving them the ultimate healing), but we are angry because He took them away? How many times do we ask to be changed into the image of Jesus, but become angry when someone does not treat us fairly?
We have to be watchful that we do not take lightly the working of God in our life, missing the miracle of answered prayers.
Naaman did receive his healing after listening to the wise council of his servants. I did get off work early, but not without embarrassment and shame of being angry with God who loves and cares about me so much He would bother to answer such an insignificant prayer!
Isaiah 55:8 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Father, I thank you that you take the time to answer our prayers, help us always to realize that you’re answering our prayers instead of focusing on the circumstances that surround the answer. In the name of Jesus, amen