Archive for June 26th, 2006

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Please read Matthew 21:18-21 (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Morgan Stewart):

In this passage, Jesus uses a handy roadside prop to tell an important parable–a story with a deeper meaning. As you read, note the disciples’ reaction and Jesus’ explanation of the events.

A friend of mine has this as a screen saver on her computer:

You don’t get what you want…so want what you get!

When I first saw it, I laughed. Then I asked her if she really believed this. She replied, “Yes, absolutely!” Over the next few days, I continued to think about this and concluded that she does indeed, have a point.

Many times, we may have something in mind that we want desperately, but no matter how hard we work for it or pray for it, it remains out of reach. At other times, something we did not have in mind–that we would not have chosen for ourselves is there…ours for the taking. If we followed my friend’s credo, I suspect we would all be much happier.

I believe with assurance the scripture verse “whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” Sometimes as I ask in prayer, I receive exactly what I have asked for. Yet at other times, it seems that God makes a substitution. In those times, perhaps I should want what I get. After all, God sees the big picture and knows what is best for me and my life. I should learn to accept God’s judgment, understanding and wisdom for my life.

Thought for the day: God, help me to understand that I may ask for things that are wrong for me. At those times, give me the grace to understand and accept that you will give me what I need, not just what I want. In all things, your will be done. Amen.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: Candace Lee, a member of the Jesus MCC congregation who lives in a nursing home and is now in the hospital. She has several chronic illnesses, has recently lost her eyesight, and is discouraged.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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