For my brother, sister and I, Easter morning always began with Easter baskets sitting on the dining room table. Each basket held assorted chocolate delights and a special toy. One Easter morning, I rushed out to the baskets and saw an adorable stuffed bunny. Squealing for joy, I grabbed the bunny and held its fluffy softness against me as I heard my mother say “Karen, the bunny belongs to your sister.” After having the bunny ripped from my vice grip arms and tears wiped from my cheeks, I learned an important lesson. Karen doesn’t always get what she wants.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can go from high hopes to utter disappointment? It’s easy to learn to not expect too much, ask for too much or hope for too much. But here’s the thing: the real pain is not the disappointment of not receiving the bunny or whatever it is you wanted. The real pain is being disappointed the person didn’t fulfill your need or desire. So gradually, you protect your relationship and stop getting your hopes up. Over time, you not only stop hoping, you stop wanting. Then the relationship grows stagnant because there’s no risk and no discovery. Relationships need hope. When you get your hopes up and they’re fulfilled there’s this amazing sense of “They love me THAT much?” ?” And if we get our hopes up and are disappointed, then we must work to convince the ones we love that we really care even though we’re disappointed. It can be a struggle but believe me, this is how stagnant relationships are revitalized, but why risk it? If you hope for little, you receive little and get disappointed little. No struggles.
The crazy thing is that this same pattern of keeping our hopes small to avoid disappointment can too often describe our prayer life. Really, think about it for a minute. When your life is facing the BIG fears like a lengthy unemployment, a frightening illness, or a messy legal battle do you pray the BIG prayers? Do you ask for the prefect job, a body free of illness or a sudden legal solution? Or do they seem like too much to ask for? Maybe you question if God really want to hear about what you are really hoping for?
NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING is too much to ask of God. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” God hungers for you to delight in Him and He longs to give you the desires of your heart. God does not want you to just pray for the realistic things or the practical things. God wants you to pray for each and every desire of your heart. Did you know that each desire of your heart that you trust to the Lord will strengthen your faith? It’s true. When you pray the big prayers either your desire will be fulfilled and you’ll sing praises of how much God loves you. Or you’ll be disappointed, and right there, it that place of heart ache, you’ll find God clinging to draw you into His mighty arms. Don’t settle for a relationship with God that has little wants, little hopes and little of your heart. Don’t hold back. Give Him all of you-body, soul and heart.