Be Careful What You Wish For

When I lived in California, I remember missing the colorful fall leaves.
Now that I have moved East, I have the leaves and realize I forgot what it takes to rake those colorful fall leaves.

A woman that I worked with had been divorced four times. She told how she had always told her third husband to “grow up.” 
When he did, she didn’t like him. 

Joey reminded me when our children were small to “enjoy this stage.”
I could always see the dirty diapers and sleepless nights and no privacy.
My hands—always full, my time—always busy, our home—noisy and messy.
I cherish those times with my now empty hands, extra time and oh so quiet days with a still messy house.

Before I’d ask, “Shouldn’t Sunday morning sweet rolls last more than one morning after all that baking?”
Now, no one wants more than one.
How do you make just four?

You’d think we’d have left overs with all that cooking.
Now that same meal lasts a week with leftovers every meal.

It’s that discontent of something better that makes us wish for something we don’t have now. 
It keeps us from worship.
How can you worship when we aren’t even thankful?

But is all wishing wrong?
Most moms wish for their children’s best. That’s not wrong. That’s love.
Moms wish they didn’t have to spank their children every day. (or every hour.)
That’s not mom needing anger management; that’s hating the sin enough to bring children to God.
Moms wish for privacy, but value giving her child security over her receiving privacy.

Our worship leader asked us to share what concern we had for the next year with the person beside us, then pray with them. 
All I could think was my three boys traveling across country to arrive safely by Wednesday of that week.
The other woman was more unselfish, she asked for our nation.

In I Kings 3:5 God gave Solomon this request, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”

Wow! Talk about dreams come true!
What would you ask?
If you know the end of the story, you might wish for something more than safety for your children’s trip!

Notice before God asked Solomon, Solomon pleased God. 
In verse 3, it says, “Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.”
Solomon’s focus was on what God desired.

As parents we want to bless our children, to reward them for their obedience, to give privileges when they obey. 
Same with God.

Solomon requested discernment, so he could rule his people well.
I was disappointed.
I’ve been given discernment.
Discernment is nice, but…
I see problems coming from other’s choices. 
I don’t like it.

I told my husband one of our pastors was preaching different. 
Six months later he was found stealing from a church member.
I’ve counselled newly married wives, warning their actions would bring divorce. Within five years, they were divorced.
I don’t like proclaiming doom.
I don’t like seeing what others do wrong.
But that’s the gift God has given me.
What am I to do with that?
Not all wishes turn out to be what you thought they were.

In its rough state, discernment can be very critical, judgmental, unforgiving and unloving.
That’s not a good way to make or keep friends.
God has smoothed some of those rough edges in my life to perfect His gift.
But only as I’ve sought Him to change me.
It’s not for me to tell everyone what I see wrong in their life, nor treat them ugly because I really know them.
Many times, God shows me so I can pray.
Keeping my mouth shut is an act of the Spirit.
But He does direct me to speak sometimes. 
I also must obey. 
That is hard. I don’t want to.
That’s the gift Solomon asked for.
Some gifts must be cultivated with God's help.

But without discernment, you see the simple, naïve and gullible in Proverbs.
They walk into trouble, oblivious of the mess they leave behind them, heedless of the road they walk into. 
I guess I don’t want that either.
I must be thankful for what God has given.

What would you wish for?

Maybe you have wished for something.
God has rewarded your request.
But it’s not what you thought.

Like the Israelites as they traveled through the wilderness.
They begged for meat.
God gave them what they asked for: quail.
But sent leanness to their soul.
They wanted it now.
It wasn’t God’s time. It was theirs.
Instead of looking to God for their needs, they complained to Moses.
Instead of thanking God for the quail, they ate them raw, getting sick from it.
Their wishes didn’t lead them to God.
Not all wishes are right.

2 Samuel 13 tells of Amnon, son of David, who wished for his half-sister Tamar. 
He manipulated circumstances, pretending to be sick for her to nurse him, so he could rape her. 
Afterward, “he hated her with a very great hatred. . . greater than the love with which he had loved her.” (2 Samuel 13:15).
He could have asked David to marry her. But he wanted her now.
Manipulating circumstances to get what you want may bring your wishes, but you won’t enjoy them.

There’s no short cuts to disciplining your children.
It’s the consistency, every day, every time, that makes them remember that they probably should obey. 
Your consistency does bring rewards. 
But it’s not when you want it, it’s when they allow God to  get ahold of their heart and turns it toward Him.
Same with your wishes with God.
Not all wishes should be granted now.

Paul asked for his thorn to be removed.
He asked three times.
But God wouldn’t remove it.
Three times is probably not the magic number to ask then accept what you have, but for Paul, who was looking to God for direction, it was enough.
Not all wishes are granted.

So what should you wish for?
Maybe it’s not about wishes.

Maybe it’s really about the vacuum in our soul that longs to be filled with God.
When we are looking to God’s Face, we aren't demanding something from His Hand. 
But when He gives something, it is the right thing, in the right time, just what we needed to know Him better.

Look to His face.
His Hands won’t be empty. 
But they will have just what you should have wished for.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Displaying 1 comment

What should we wish for? More of Jesus. One of my favorite songs is Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, with the chorus going like this:

Turn you eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

That's all we need, but sometimes the world does intrude. Think I should paste these words on my frig to remind me every day. Thanks for sharing, really like this article.

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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