"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:7-11
Once I found myself working on a message, which basically means that I was staring at a computer screen for a few hours on end. Normally, this wouldn't be anything noteworthy, but this particular time, I had a throbbing headache; the kind of headache that hurts just enough to be annoying, but not enough to call it a day and head home sick.
This headache crept past annoying and was starting to push up on distractingly painful, when I realized, "Hey! I'm writing a sermon to share to some teens about God and I'm in pain. This headache is affecting my work and I know that God wouldn't want that, so I should ask that God will heal me and take away my pain!"
I'm not sure if I felt more silly about the fact that I hadn't thought to pray to God and ask for help sooner, or that I was about to ask the Almighty Creator of the universe to give me a little spiritual ibuprofen. Nonetheless, I prayed.
"God, I know that You are able to heal me. You are God. Please take this headache away so that I can concentrate on what I'm doing. Amen." After I finished the prayer, I waited for a few seconds. I still had my headache.
I don't know what I was expecting to happen. Should the heavens have opened up with a bright light and should the booming voice of the Father have said, "I CAST THEE INTO HELL, DEMON SPAWN OF MIGRAINES"?
I didn't think so, but I had hoped for some miraculous healing. I shrugged and continued my work. About 10 minutes later, I stopped and realized that my headache had disappeared. "Huh....thanks God." I had a realization: Of course, God is completely able to heal anything that is wrong with me, or anyone else. He is a God who raises people from the dead! So, a headache is clearly no match for Him. So why didn't I receive immediate healing? Why did God wait?
I feel as though it was God's way of telling me: "I am God; you are not. Yes, I can heal You. I can do anything. I am God. But I choose when to heal you. I choose when the time is right. Don't treat me like your dancing monkey, or a genie sitting here waiting to grant your wishes. Your thoughts are not My thoughts, your ways are not My ways."
If God would have healed me right then and there, it would have been a great story; but since God waited, I had the realization that I had. So often in our culture, we want what we want, when we want it, and we want it now. But with God, even though you can ask anything of Him, it is up to Him to decide if and when you will receive. So lean on and ask and beg and plead and desire and long and pray. But in all things, submit to His will. He might know a thing or two.
After all, He's God and, well...you're not.
Posted on Thu, September 22, 2011
by Nicholas Nieblas