Today a friend and I went to visit a Jersey dairy a few hours away from us. When I spoke with the farmer over the phone (on three different occasions,) he assured me that he’d have five or six cows for us to choose from, as we wanted to get several tested for the a2 gene. When we got to the farm, however, there were only TWO cows there for us to look at, and I was pretty miffed! Since one of the cows had teats much too small for me to hand milk (and she was very nervous and jumpy, something I don’t need or want in a cow!), that left only ONE cow for me to look at and get tested! Considering the fact that I’d just traveled two hours from home to look at this cow, I was not happy.
But on the way home, I became amused at my own stupidity. I’ve been praying for quite a while now that God would make it very clear to us what cow we should get, and help us to recognize any cows we SHOULDN’T get. How perfect is it that He sent me to a dairy where only ONE cow would be available for us, thus saving us the money of having several cows tested, and also making it perfectly obvious whether or not we’re supposed to get her (if she’s a2/a2, we’re getting her. If not, we aren’t!) Isn’t that exactly what I asked for???
Lately, I’ve been revisiting an old struggle with myself, regarding finances. A friend recently reminded me that God will never make a move that enables us to be independent of Him and I had to laugh as the thought popped into my head that that is probably why we’re still living paycheck to paycheck. Later, I thought about this more seriously and realized that one of the reasons I sometimes find myself chafing under our paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle is that I want to be free of the struggle and, when it comes right down to it, I want to be free of being in what I perceive to be the vulnerable position of having to depend on God for anything and everything that falls outside of what Jon’s check will provide for each week (ie. groceries, gas, and our bills.) And I asked myself the question: “What is it about that that is so bothersome to me??? What has God NOT provided us with, that we’ve needed or even wanted?” And I was reminded – once again – that God has been faithful 100% of the time and every time – EVERY SINGLE TIME – we’ve had a need (and even a lot of wants!) He has provided us with exactly what we needed. And those things that we think we need or want that He HASN’T given to us… I can look back at those seemingly unanswered prayers and see one of two obvious things. First is that I often don’t even bother to ASK for the things I want, thinking that they’re silly or trifling or not “worthy” of prayer. Second, I can see that for those prayers I DO pray that are left unanswered (or, rather, answered with “NO”) is only now, thanks to a little distance, obvious – and I’m better off and blessed because He didn’t give me what I thought I wanted!
So today I find myself wondering… how often do I pray for the “right cow,” expecting to have six to choose from and then gripe because there’s only one? How often do I complain about my seeming lack, without even bothering to ask my Father for the things I want or need?
I’m awfully glad God has a sense of humor. And I’m VERY thankful He’s patient with me.
I am reminded of a quote from CS Lewis tonight…
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.