Ice cream cones don’t like me. As a little girl I remember my dad taking the family to the Dairy Queen for tall cones of soft ice cream. As everyone joyfully ate their cones, I’d get caught up in the excitement of the occasion and forget to eat mine. So as the ice cream would begin to drip down my hand, my dad would tell me to “hurry up and eat.” But I didn’t want to hurry up and eat, so I’d begin to cry. As the ice cream began to creep down my arm, my dad would save the day by eating all the melting ice cream from the outside of my cone. This would only make me cry more because I didn’t want anyone else to eat my ice cream cone. By the end of this process, I was left with a dry cone topped with a little mound of ice cream. If I had just eaten my cone like my dad said, everything would have been fine. These days I get my ice cream in a cup.
I find I am often like this when things go wrong. I don’t just want things to get fixed. I want things to get fixed the way I want them to get fixed. Now of course, the way I want them fixed may be impossible, like holding an ice cream cone without eating it and expecting it not to melt. Sometimes to get what I want, I have to give up my insistence that everything must go my way.
Unfortunately , this hunger for things to go my way is not just with people but with God. In my prayer life, I find myself giving God directions of how I want Him to answer my prayer. Do you know what I mean? Some people desperately ask God to mend a terrible lie they have perpetuated but then ask God would He mind letting their sin stay a secret? Others may pray for God to take away their drinking problem but then request God to let them still have a few glasses of wine on the weekend. And then there are those that ask God to stop their adulterous relationship but think God should still arrange for them to see the person socially, just as a friend. They want God’s help, but only on their own terms.
The problem with these prayers is that the person is not looking to participate in God’s plan to restore their life. They are only looking to participate in their plan to restore their life. It’s tempting to think “I know God can fix this my way.” The question is can you fix things God’s way? James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” It’s OK to let God be the one to lift you up.
Don’t miss out on the plan for restoration God has in store for you. Remember: your humility and His love are an unbeatable mix.