You parents--if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7: 9-11 NLT
Well, it happened again last week. I was primed and ready to go. There was a hope and a glimmer of great success and possibly even wealth. If not wealth, at least enough money to get me out of debt. A meeting was arranged. I was going to talk to someone who could make many of my dreams come true. Sort of like being a finalist in American Idol. Once again my hopes were dashed. Once again it seems like we (Peculiar People) are destined to that mediocre “bucket of warm spit” called the “also rans.”
Coming out this meeting I felt like God had just handed me a nice, big stone topped with slimy black snake. All I could do is look up and say, “Hey, God -- Where’s my bread? I thought you said you weren’t going to do this! How do you get by with such outrageous behavior?“
Ever feel this way? Well, if the truth be known I experience these feelings way more often than I should. Weekly, daily... well, let’s just stop there. But haven’t you ever wondered what Jesus was talking about? Don’t we all have those moments where it seems like we just got handed a rattlesnake when we asked for a Captain D’s Fish & More? Of course, we do. But then again there are those people who immediately recover from these situations by putting their faith into gear. I am not one of those people. I find I need a few days or (maybe) a few hours to stop moaning and complaining. But even then, after I stop complaining, I just sort of tuck my hurts and woes under my hat and “keep on truckin‘.” My faith is not strengthened; it rather is weaker than before.
So what am I going to do with this disappointment? How am I reacting? Well, for one thing I am beginning to see that maybe MY analysis of a situation is possibly less reliable than God’s analysis. So just maybe if what I receive from God looks like a stone instead of a loaf of bread — then there could be a teensy-weensy possibility that my perception is off. Perhaps I should rely on Someone who sees (and knows) a true, omniscient perspective rather than relying on my own.
Of course, I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s statement to his wife. He had just lost his re-election bid after World War II. He was quite depressed. His wife encouraged him to cheer up because after all, this could be a blessing in disguise. He returned with, “Indeed, at the moment it seems quite effectively disguised !”
But even beyond our perception of bread, we know from His word and our experience that we have already received Bread. The Bread of Heaven. Is it really so impossible to be satisfied with that alone? It is so very American to always be looking for the next step up. The bigger house, the larger pay check, the nicer car, more fame, more notoriety, more, more, more, bigger, better. It is downright unAmerican to be satisfied where we are and stay that way.
Hey, maybe my faith is kickin’ into gear!? But you get my point. He is not untrue and His promises are not rubbish. He really doesn’t dole out snakes and rocks. If you aren’t aware of it, I refer you to a rather fun song by Garth Brooks, “I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers.” I won’t expound upon it now, but it’s worth a listen.
Well, folks, let’s change our perspective and change our hearts. No, even better — let’s ask Him to change us.