For some reason I was reminded today of a true story that demonstrates just how God really does answer our prayers. Unfortunately, we humans seem to have fixations on exactly how we expect our prayers to be answered, and because of this we quite often miss God’s reply.
The story concerns a man who was in need of a new car. He was not in a position financially to buy one, so he sent up prayers to God explaining his predicament and asking for his needs to be met. Around two weeks later he received a phone call from an aunt who explained that she was buying a new car. She further explained that she no longer had any need for the car she currently owned, therefore he could have it as a gift. The man’s response was “oh no, I couldn’t possibly accept your car as a gift”, so the aunt duly disposed of the surplus vehicle by other means. Six months later the man is shaking his fists to the heavens because God has failed to answer his prayer….. I ask you ….. some people!
As a footnote to this tale, have you ever wondered why God is referred to as “God The Father” and why we always turn to him when we want something? Well, cast your mind back to when you were a child and you wanted something fixing. Who did you ask? Why good old dad of course, and that’s why God is called God the Father; because G-O-D stands for Good Old Dad.
The true story also reminded me of another story. An untrue story this time, but nonetheless a story that demonstrates the same lessons. A very pious man lived in a town that was hit by serious flooding. The Emergency Services were in the process of evacuating the area, and on calling at the man’s house were told “it’s ok, God will save me”. The floods worsened and the streets became rivers. Some rescue workers came by in a boat and told the man to get in, to which he replied “it’s ok, God will save me”. The floods got even worse and the water levels rose to the extent that the man had to climb up on the roof. At this point the Emergency Services sent a helicopter to rescue him. But he shouted up “it’s ok, God will save me!” He drowned!
He arrived at the pearly gates and knocked. When St Peter opened the gates the man gave him a real earful, complaining that he’d always been a good servant of the Lord so why did God let him die. St Peter said “you were sent a boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?”
The moral of these stories is that everything we receive is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter who or what the source may be. The source is simply the method chosen by God to act as a channel for the gift. Gifts can also be translated as opportunities and we should always grasp them with both hands instead of allowing ourselves to be blinded by our own logic.