Not Getting What We Think We Want

Specific prayers receive specific answers. Those were the words on the graphic I texted my boys this morning who have been studying hard this week (and all semester) for their midterm exams in classes including: Principles of Accounting, Microeconomics, Astronomy, Calculus I and Physics I.

I remember taking courses as a freshman in the major I first chose in college as well. In fact, my courses included the same accounting and economics that one of our boys is taking. I took them, got discouraged because I couldn’t stand them, then quickly changed my major from accounting to communications, per my boss’s recommendation, and loved the rest of my college career.

What I learned from that painfully excruciating experience (yes, it was!) was invaluable. Looking back, it was God’s way of showing me His direction for my life was better than the direction I was choosing to take.

“Pray for God to open and shut doors,” I tell my boys, not implying all hard courses are a reason to run from your chosen major, but a good reason to pray specifically for God’s guidance.

Growing-up in the ‘80s, I was materialistic; I admit it. I wanted a career that would provide me with all the things I wanted that money could buy. Then, little by little I was shown a life that was richer than money could buy.

Life is a funny thing. We arrive in this world with nothing and depart from this world with nothing. Think about it. If we focus on acquiring “things,” we can have a pretty meaningless existence, can’t we?

With our boys away, I find a lot of joy in the little things like when they call and tell me how well they did on a test or when I drop by their dorm and see them tutoring their friends in the study room, solving problems on the chalkboard, finding their way. That’s what life’s about: finding our way, discovering our gifts, the reason we exist, what we do with our life between birth and death.

Specific prayers receive specific answers. Not getting what we really think we want and ask for isn’t necessarily God not blessing us, it’s His way of showing us a better way – His way.

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