Do you ever see praying like rubbing a genie lamp? I mean, the thing with genies is that they grant your request, but it gets spun in a rather disagreeable way. For example, “Genie, I wish I could speak Spanish.” A flash of light, some smoke and glitter…Y Aye de mi! No hablo Ingles! Solemente Espanol! No compredo Ingles! Mierda!
A few years ago, I prayed that God would make my life an adventure. For all the desires I have for the normal things in life, I would sacrifice them all if their acquisition meant a life of tepid mediocrity. Since then, I have lived in 11 different places. I spent 3 months living out of my car, at times wondering where I would sleep the next night. This is not what I had in mind when I asked for “adventure.” I have prayed that God would heal relationships that were hurting. He chose to do this by removing them from my life all together. He left me clinching my fists in an attempt to will myself to trust Him that the ache will subside. This is not what I meant by “heal.”
God’s primary purpose is to glorify Himself, and He chooses to do this by forming us into His image. But this always seems to be a process of pain. Enough of this happens and you may find yourself struggling with the same thing with which I struggle…Day…In…Day…Out. I want to be different. I want to be more like Christ. But I fear that peace has become an idol to me. My desire to please God is often overshadowed by my desire to avoid pain. Even when I “make all the right choices,” it is rooted in the desire to not hurt. I find myself cringing at God. I just know that He is waiting for the right moment to hurt me. Oh, I am confident that it is out of love and not out of spite. Never-the-less, I cringe.
You hear stories of brothers and sisters running head long into God with their swords drawn ready to conquer the world for Christ. They seem so fearless. God IS good. But He is not safe. And being like Christ requires a willingness to give up everything to have HIM. My list of idols grows as does this entry. My family….My health…My relationships…Dreams for the future….
And they actually let me lead a Bible study…I mean community group.