When I was a youth – from about Grade VIII until my first year of university, I wanted to be a meteorologist. While God’s call on my life turned out to be somewhat different, I have retained an interest in all things related to the weather.
Today, where I am, it’s raining.
Thanks for that, you’re thinking. But there’s a point. Trust me.
The kind of cold, driving rain we’re experiencing today isn’t really all that pleasant. In fact, I might call it miserable.
I don’t really enjoy rain. It impedes my morning walk. It leaves me cold and wet. It soaks my shoes. But I tolerate, even accept rain, because I know we need it.
When we talk to God, we generally pray for things that we want. “Lord, please give me a:
- cute boyfriend/girlfriend
- nice car
- comfortable home
- etc., etc.”
As we mature in faith, and begin to find our wills shaped after God’s, our prayers change. Why is that? Because we appreciate that God does not always give us what we want, but always gives us what we need.
Right before he shares the Bible’s most famous dangerous prayer, Jesus enjoins his friends: “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (Matthew 6.7-8, NLT – emphasis mine).
The fact that God knows what we need even before we ask shouldn’t stop us from praying; in fact, it should encourage us all the more in our prayers, knowing that we have a relationship with a God who knows us intimately and recognizes our needs. Some great theologian (!) once wrote that “April showers bring May flowers”. We need rain – even rain like we’re getting this morning – to make the trees bud and the grass grow and the flowers blossom.
I don’t have to enjoy the rain. But the miracle of the changing seasons and the emerging verdancy sends me to my knees in thanksgiving and praise. May it do the same for you!