Moby once said that if given the choice as a child, he would’ve eaten Oreos for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and Oreos mixed in ice cream for dinner. He would’ve been happy. Fortunately, his parents intervened.
Who doesn’t relate to this in some way? We each want something of Oreos, ice cream, then Oreos and ice cream together. We might call it a new car, or that particular someone we want to fall in love with us, or the right med school. From our vantage point, at 18, 26, 34, 49, 57 or 73, we usually know what we want and why it’s best for us.
Fortunately, our Father remains engaged in raising his children.
Paul says the Spirit prays for us. The writer of Hebrews says Jesus prays for us, and in John, we see Jesus pray for the disciples and for future believers. This treads on deep mystery.
We don’t really know God’s will. (Do we even know ourselves?) We have a few ideas here and there, such as his desire for our love, that we love each other. Jesus and then Paul lay out how he wants us to live. But in the daily grind, we feel like we’re flying blind. Certain people cause us strange guilt when they tell us they know God’s will, as if they have some Cliff’s Notes version of it. You feel a little frustrated, uninvited to some party about the secrets of the universe, and you ask, “What’s wrong with me?”
It will work out. You have desires, and sometimes those desires are for Oreos for breakfast. Sometimes you desire whole-wheat cereal with berries, flax seed, and goat’s milk for breakfast. Either way, the Spirit continues to talk to the father for you. He weaves together your crazy will with God’s own will. And he takes a much longer view.
In the end, it all works together for your good, for my good. See Romans 8:28.
Remember, when we survey the landscape of our lives and ask questions, God remains engaged, intervening. Were he to leave us to our desires, we’d quickly find ourselves with blood sugar issues, rapidly approaching obesity and heart disease. We’d think he didn’t care. Were he to simply impose his own will, we’d think he didn’t care about our desires.
As it is, he cares about our hearts and our lives. He remains engaged.
For what do you pray?
How do you handle prayers that are not answered to your satisfaction?
What do you imagine the Spirit prays for you?
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