by Heather Bock
Don’t miss my giveaway of Ann Voskamp’s six week book study guide and DVD plus a chance to win a Skype session with Ann Voskamp at the end of this post.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine have become pretty excited about their wish lists, Amazon wish lists to be specific. They ask to see them fairly regularly and keep finding more to add to them. My two oldest know how to navigate to their online wish lists on their own, and they know how to add new items themselves. They’re getting better about checking the price, knowing that nobody in our family is going to buy them a Lego set for $150. Sometimes they add the item just in case, but most of the time add more reasonably priced toys. The problem is that it’s hard to tell from a picture on Amazon whether a toy is good quality or not. In fact, it’s probably hard for my kids to tell that fact in a store. When I don’t check their lists before birthdays and Christmas early enough, they very well may receive a cheaply-made toy that breaks the first time they play with it. It’s happened. Not only that, but I steer my daughter away from dolls that don’t represent our values and my son away from violent video games I don’t think would be good for him.
All this wish list talk from my kids have made me start to think about my wish list to my Father. It’s not necessarily made up of material items, but I do regularly add lines to the list. Here are some regular requests, tailored for specific people:
- healing for friends and family members
- a close relationship with Jesus for friends and family members
- renewed marriages
- help for missionaries
- wisdom in different situations
Other times I ask for favor for my husband in his job or that my youngest son will behave well during our homeschool community where I try to lead him and his classmates in their learning time. Wow, would I ever like that one to be answered favorably!
I was recently talking to a friend about how sometimes I might pray for God’s will be done in a certain situation, but really, in my heart I’m just adding something else to my wish list, and I really want His will to be my will done.
I’m pretty sure a lot of my items listed above would be in God’s will, but I bet the answer might not always look like how I imagine it. I also know some are not always in God’s will, such as healing or favor. I can imagine God with His eye on His child’s wish list, saying, “No, Heather, that one’s not a good idea. I’m going to take that one off the list.”
I think of a story in Matthew 20, when James’ and John’s mother came up to Jesus and respectfully asked Him to put her sons in positions of honor in His coming kingdom. Her sons agreed with her request, believing themselves up to the task. Jesus responded that they didn’t know what they were asking. Even though Jesus had just explained that He was going to soon be condemned to death to be mocked, scourged, and crucified, these men and their mother just didn’t understand what they had added to their wish list.
The disciples did indeed undergo what would give them honor in the kingdom of Heaven. James himself is traditionally considered to be the first apostle to be put to death for following Jesus. In the seemingly upside down way of God, this apparent curse of martyrdom does turn into a blessing for them and for many others. However, many times, what looks like a blessing can end up truly being a curse. How many fairy tales whisper this truth? Think of King Midas with his gift of the golden touch turning his beloved daughter lifeless.
We might pray that God’s will may be done, but we need to believe it. As you add items to your wish list to God, listen to Him whisper, “I love you, my child. Trust that I know what’s best for you.”
I have more to say about prayer to this Father of ours, though. Come back next week, as I attempt to describe a good Father who loves to give His children good gifts.
Bible Giveaway and Announcement
Last week, I announced the winner of my giveaway for a NKJV Journal the Word Bible. I never heard back from the winner, so I’ve drawn again, and the new winner is Julie Ann Dibble! Julie, contact me with your address, and I will send the Bible to you right away.
I’m also excited to say that I get to give away Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way six session book study guide and DVD with six eighteen to twenty minute sessions. You could use it with a small group or even donate it to your church.
In addition, if you win the study guide and plan to do it with a small group, tell me and I get to enter your name in to another drawing to win one Skype session with Ann Voskamp herself!
To enter the drawing, subscribe to my blog:
- Click the button “follow” in the above right column under my picture and type in your email address.
To earn more entries, or if you’re already following my blog,
- Share my book review of The Broken Way or this post via social media. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three).
- Let me know in a comment where you’ve shared.
- Notify me of your name.
Giveaways are open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada only.
I will announce the winner next Wednesday, so look for it! If I don’t hear from the winner within a week, I will draw another name. Thank you!