Prayers and Answers to Prayers
It seems that a LOT of people, including Christians, have a
number of misconceptions regarding Prayers and
Answers to Prayers. Here are some thoughts on these subjects.
When people say, "Jesus didn't answer when I called Him", I think
it's just us being sort of egotistical. Oh, HE heard you. And, He may
have even answered you, but possibly in some way that you are not
yet capable of comprehending. We tend to have the approach
"I want ice cream, with the expected response being either yes or
no that we get ice cream." This assumes that we know and
understand the right questions and requests and the "correct"
responses to them. What if Yogurt, or a salad, unexpectedly appeared
in your possession? Would you recognize that as a "healthier"
response to your request? Doubtful! We're just not too smart, sometimes!
I actually think that there is a more common situation. When we demand
that ice cream, a far more insightful parent (or God) might realize
that this "child" needs to learn Patience. I can see the
possibility where the ice cream might be INTENTIONALLY withheld
(for a while) in order to allow a larger lesson to be learned.
Good parents sometimes do such things. In our limited (child-like?)
minds, we might not see the "Patience" lesson being present,
because WE WANT ICE CREAM! We humans tend to have a lot of
self-centered thoughts, and I think that God sometimes finds
ways to allow us to have "learning opportunities". He knows
that we have a LOT to learn! Now, this doesn't mean that you will
actually LEARN patience from such an experience! You were just
given the OPPORTUNITY to do so! Most kids/people probably
wouldn't, but some would. Most of us tend to react by starting
whining and crying about being neglected and ignored, etc.
My parents are MEAN! Jesus doesn't care about me!
See what I mean? We Pray for some thing, often fairly short-sighted.
God's response is FAR better than we could ever have hoped! He
has chosen to give us an opportunity to learn a personal "skill"
that can become a permanent part of who we are. We asked for ice cream.
We were GIVEN the opportunity to become better human beings! What
an Awesome God we have! He overlooks the shallowness of our request
and presented us with something incalculably better!
Why Evil Exists
Please consider expanding on this idea regarding us polluting the planet,
hurting each other, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. I am sure God is
displeased with such things. He certainly has the capability of instantly
solving all of them. But what would we have learned? That we
could do absolutely anything, without the slightest negative
consequence to ourselves, because our Loving God would always take care
of everything! Nope! I think that He knows that we often
have to learn things the "hard way". Just like the "ice cream" demand, we
have much larger lessons to learn, and such lessons must be learned
individually. God would NEVER treat us in such a way as to encourage
us to become ignorant of the consequences of our actions. But He is
so intelligent that He knows that sometimes, only "tough love"
really gets through! Our God, Who Loves us so totally, must sometimes
watch us fail, individually and collectively. A parent must watch a
child fall off a bicycle while first learning to ride, WITHOUT HELPING. That
parent probably suffers as much as the child when the fall occurs. Imagine
the agony that God and Jesus must go through due to all the terrible
things we do, to each other, to Their planet, even to Their Church.
It's almost amazing that They still Love us!
It is my hope that these various comments have given you things
to think about. Many subjects have been touched on. If you ever
expect me (or any other human) to give absolute answers to life's
many questions, I cannot. I can give guidance, as
suggested above. That's all.
This presentation was first placed on the Internet in March 2000.
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