Saturday, May 27, 2017

Be careful what you...

"Be careful what you wish for..."
Was that famous idiom first offered up as a Chinese Proverb or spoken during a play of Greek Mythology? Regardless of origin, the warning for wishers is sound advice. Be careful if you wish for money and fame... Be careful if you wish for love and marriage. Sure, money can be beneficial and, of course, love can be beautiful, but both come with their own unique set of challenges - thorns among the roses. Wisher beware: the dream that formulates the wish often looks drastically different when the wish comes true.
Learning from the old saying, I've been careful about what I've wished for. In fact, I've stopped wishing and replaced it with desiring and praying. The wishes I used to place on shooting stars I now hand to God in the form of desires spoken in prayers.
Believing that desiring and praying would be safe alternative to wishing, I began carelessly offering prayers of desire to God about seven years ago. The first one went a little something like this, "God, I give you my life, every part of it. I want to be obedient and completely surrendered to you. It is the earnest desire of my heart that I be pleasing in your eyes. Remove from my life anything that would draw me away from you or cause me to stumble. Purify me!" 
It was by surrendering my life to Christ that I was inspired to turn my wishes into"careless" prayers of desire. I carelessly prayed against protecting my own interest, having my own way and dictating my own life. My prayers took the shape of taking no care for what I wanted and the plans I had made for myself. Instead, my prayers became fixated on caring only for the will of God.
Through sin and my own fall I came to understand that I'm not fit to run my own life or even formulate my own wishes. My eyes were opened to the blackness and wickedness of my own heart and my great need to be saved by grace. Through salvation God transformed my heart and made it beat with the desire to be more like Christ.
Little did I know when I made that first "careless" prayer that God would grant me just what I requested. God went to work stripping me of everything that wasn't of Him. Bit by bit, He began to scrape away every happiness and pleasure apart from Himself. He removed every security but Himself, even the most fundamental security of health.
In 2010 when I exchanged my wishes for prayers I could never have anticipated how sharp and plentiful the thorns to come. I wasn't careful to formulate prayers that avoided the thorns or protected me against pain. I simply asked for God's will. If I could go back and rewrite those prayers and change my desires I wouldn't alter them one bit.
The woman I am today is because of those desires, those prayers and the way God has answered them. Because of those careless prayers that flowed from the deepest desires of my heart I have a beautiful, intimate union with Jesus Christ. God has answered my prayers of desire with an ever increasing passion for His goodness. He has enriched my life with more of His peace and love. By transforming my wishes into desires to be offered in prayer, my heart has been set ablaze, burning ever increasingly brighter for the glory of God.
In ways I never anticipated, expected or could have imagined, God is answering my prayers. He is fulfilling the very deepest desire of my heart: To be purified and made perfect in His Son, Jesus Christ... To be made more into the image of my Savior so that I will one day hear that I pleased the Lord as a good and faithful daughter of the King.

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