Have you ever bargained with God? I suspect many of us if we are honest, have tried to tell God what to do, how to do it and even demanded when to have the job complete.
I experienced that lately.
I still have three wisdom teeth who live happily in the back of my mouth. My goal was to hold onto them until I was at least 90. But one is chipped and another decayed, so my dentist’s advice was to get them out.
“Just make an appointment with the oral surgeon,” he said.
I hate dentists. And this suggestion of course put them even lower on my list. So my bargaining with the Almighty began.
“Ok Lord, if You really, really want me to do this, things have to be perfect. But I expect they won’t be. I know when I call for an appointment, it will be months before I get in. The receptionist will be cold, cruel and look remarkably like the Wicked Witch of the West. I will see cockroaches in the corner snacking on crumbs left behind by frightened children. The strong body odor of the slimy surgeon will cause my eyes to water. Of course they will have to give me large doses of anesthetic to yank my poor babies out. I am a control freak and want to stay in charge; medication may lower my defense mechanisms. I will say stupid things and my husband will laugh at me and make fun of me for years. Yes Lord, all this need NOT to happen for me to really believe this is a good step for me to take in caring for my body.”
You guessed it. Everything fell into place. The appointment arrived in less than two weeks. The receptionist was warm, friendly and sort of looked like Glinda. The office was clean – I didn’t see a crumb nor a cobweb. The entire staff acted very professional and when I shook the strong calm hand of the surgeon who sat down explaining all details to me – my heart heard the walls of resistance topple. He said looks like all three would be a simple extraction and if I wanted I could just have novocaine.
I think I heard God laugh that day. “Answered the prayer just like you stipulated, Jeanie,“ God chuckled, “down to the tiniest detail.”
Me, a simple mortal, bargaining with the Almighty?
Not very humble of me, Lord. I apologize.
God is God and I am not.
Too often my prayer is full of requests and gimme’s like God is a gigantic vending machine. He does promise to hear our prayers, but I also need to listen, worship, and praise him more frequently.
When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing – nothing. St Francis of Assisi.
I seek You, Lord. Nothing but You.