The apostle Paul says, “I pray for what you most need.”
When I was younger, I could be found vehemently praying for a pink Jeep. And it seems looking back, all things pink and jeep were pretty foreign to good ol’ Paul. Today the equivalent prayer to my pink Jeep desire is perhaps still a pink Jeep in a sense. But if it’s not a Jeep, it’s definitely to have my own place…or to attain some really expensive camera/artsy equipment…or really, just some nice boots. Nonetheless, I really wanted a pink Jeep and after two long and blustery winters of not receiving such a noble and honest request, I started to devise a plan on how I would enjoy my inevitable gift and also what I should start praying secondly for in the mean time, to kill time. See, I knew I’d get it, but the waiting made me upset and truly had me obsessing over what car decals and stickers I would place on the shiny new hot pink paint, once them plastic keys were in my hands. The expectation of what I thought I deserved was donned with a crown of self-righteousness and I swear, arms have never been folded across the chest as often as they did when I was a youngin.
(Obvious) Disclaimer: I am an only child.
And I also pray a lot.
And when I pray a lot I always end up thinking—moreso than actually verbalizing, “Lord when are you going to honor my decision to be faithful to you?!”
And since the expectation of what I most needed was ill-rooted when I was ten, I’ve easily forgiven little Tracy. But as the Tracy today, I’m less accepting of my internal tantrums or subtle wishes. And seldom do I ever really deserve any type of plastic in my hand.
Disclaimer #2: It sucks not being ten.
And quickly, Jesus surely responds, “why do you let yourself grow weary?”
I grow tired, a lot.
It seems it’s taken His response to my non-response to truly see where my petitions are going and to hear which attitude they are declared in. Upon reflection, I’m embarrassed. With that, I am doing my best to answer questions such as, “What do you need?” with responses such as, “Nothing, for I have plenty.” To get there, there needs to be major re-evaluation. And I’m not talking about considering a different colored jeep. I may be even suggesting instead of asking for that jeep, asking for the desire for control over my life to be surrendered. Instead of asking for my debt to be vanquished, perhaps asking to rejoice in the bread on my plate daily and nightly. Instead of asking for a new or cooler job, maybe ask for the clear vision that there is true fruit in my labor.
To pray for not a change of circumstances but an understanding in what we have in Christ is what I need.
For gratitude is finding that what we have is surely enough.
If we have that, no matter how bad or difficult our life circumstances are or how blustery our sky appears, we can handle them as a woman or man of righteousness.