(Continued from Amber Woeller’s article, “Grocery Shopping“, a story of God’s provision)
When my children ask me for items at the store, sometimes I say yes but not always. I have to think about my budget constraints as well as whether it is something my children really need. Although God is not limited by budgets, He does consider whether what we ask for is something we really need. I would really love a lot of things, but is it what I really need? God knows exactly what is beneficial for me.
A few years ago, my husband and I found that it was time to leave our jobs. We prayed, lined up a new job, and were planning to move. We had everything figured out, until it all fell apart. Suddenly we found ourselves living with his parents, with no money and no job prospects. It felt as if our prayers had been unanswered, even that God didn’t care. Looking back, we see how God did answer our prayers. Not only did He renew and restore us in ways that would not have been possible in the other job, but He provided a new calling and everything we have needed to fulfill that calling.
Just as God gives us what is beneficial, He also answers our prayers in His timing. In the Old Testament, Eli tells Hannah, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:17). Eli told Hannah this after she had poured out her longings to God. In verse 21 are the words, “in the course of time,” describing that she eventually became pregnant and gave birth to a son (her request). God did hear her request, but it does not say that immediately her prayer was answered.
Once we had been given our new calling, God did not immediately give us the finances and necessary housing. In fact it took much longer than I thought it should! Despite my ideas, in His perfect timing and knowing what is best, He has answered our requests.
We may not always get exactly what we want when we ask for it, but God does encourage us to ask.