God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr
We grow up inundated with fantasies like the ones presented in Disney classics. One movie that readily comes to mind is Aladdin. Who wouldn’t love a happily-ever-after ending, not to mention your very own genie to grant your most desired wishes.
How many times have we turned to God when we were down on our luck, when we felt life simply wasn’t going our way?
When times are bad, we aren’t offering prayers of gratitude to God. We aren’t praying for others. What we’re doing is asking God for this and that, as if God is in fact Himself a genie.
Mercifully, God loves us enough not to treat our pleaded requests like mandates. By the same token, we shouldn’t demand things of God…and we shouldn’t seek Him solely in times of need.
Fortunately, God doesn’t always give us everything we ask of Him, even when we ask nicely. And when He does grant our prayers, God does it on His own time and in his own way.
God has plans for all of us and He knows what we need. Sometimes we ask God for something, and He delivers…just maybe not in the way we intended.
Thus, God isn’t a genie…and we’re all the better for it! He doesn’t give in to selfish proclivities inherent in the wishes we would ask of a genie. God doesn’t limit us to three appeals either. And when God fulfills our prayer requests, He only wants what is best for us. He isn’t static like a genie who merely does what He’s commanded, regardless of the consequences.
Let us bear this in mind moving forward. It’s more than alright to turn to God in times of need. He wants to be there for us…but remember to be grateful for His help. More than that, pray for those who need help so that God’s love can transcend other’s troubles too.
Again, thank God, literally, that He isn’t a genie. There’s no cap to God’s love and He never abandons us. He’s just as happy to listen to our prayers when things are going well too.