A little while ago a friend of mine was visiting and he was telling me about the hard time he had had traveling. He was talking about how he was running late and had prayed silently in his head that God would let him catch his bus. So he prayed and prayed but when he got there they wouldn’t let him on. So he had to catch a later one and this set him back in many ways but after he told me this he turned to me and asked, “I prayed, so why didn’t it work?”
When he had asked me this, what came to my mind is how oftentimes people try to think of God as this magic wand, or genie in a bottle. We sometimes tend to forget about him until we need something and then expect our wishes to be granted (this isn’t what my friend had done but it made me think of this). I’ve learned over the years though that God doesn’t work like that, sure there are times when we are distant and then we desperately need him and he helps us out big time but he’s not a genie in a bottle. I’ve had a lot of moments where I’ve prayed for something to happen or not happen and it didn’t go my way. However I’ve also had those moments where I was in desperate need of a miracle from God and he helped me. Such as last year, for the first time ever, I woke up late for an exam. I am a commuter and live about thirty minutes from my school and I woke up during the time of the exam. So strangely I got into my car really calm, I prayed to God saying how it was no longer in my hands but in his because there was nothing I could do. I drove to school to take my other exams and by the time I parked, I got an email from my teacher asking if everything was okay and by the end of the day I had worked things out with him and had taken the exam in his office, no points taken off. As for the other times things didn’t go my way, looking back I can see how it was for the best. Having a close relationship with God helps me to hear him better so that I know where he wants me to go and whether the thing I’m praying for, is something I should even be hoping for.
Thinking about David from the bible, a lot of times he had to stop himself and ask God where he should go or what to do. There were times when he wanted to fight and he asked God, should I engage in this fight and God said no. If David didn’t have that relationship with God and had just prayed for a victory, he would have entered into a battle that was already mapped out to be a loss and blamed God for that loss. However just because God told him no doesn’t mean that God didn’t care about him, in fact everything that happened in David’s life not only helped shape him but helped guide him to his destiny of being King.
In another example there is Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, who during his reign the kingdom split. He hadn’t wanted to rule over only Judah and was ready to go to war for the other tribes but then God spoke to him and his men and told them not to fight. When I was reading this passage I was fascinated by the part where God tells them to go home and to not hurt their fellow people because, “this is my doing”. Having read earlier to where God had said that the kingdom would be split because of the sins of Solomon and looking at what God had in store for the different kingdoms in the future, I realized that sometimes things don’t go our way, for reasons that only God knows.
So what I’m trying to say is that God guides our steps and when he does he leads us to good things, never bad things and since he guides our steps we need to have a closer relationship with him to know what he is saying and where he is taking us. Perhaps for my friend God knew something bad was going to happen on that bus, or someone was going to bother him and set his whole day off. Who knows what it was but that is just one example of how in our daily lives God can speak to us and lead us and how important it is because the things we do with our daily lives are the things that play a part in our futures.
That’s why Sunday’s can’t be the only day we seek God out but rather we need to be closer to God, have a deep and personal relationship with him so we can stop blaming him for why things don’t work out and find out what is supposed to work out. As we grow in our relationship with God we’ll start to see that God really wants what’s best for us and that only he knows what that is.