Let me just start out this post by saying, he is never your genie.
He is never my genie, either. But I think the worlds closest way to explaining answered prayers comes in the form of a genie. It’s like getting something awesome we didn’t deserve.
Philippians 4:6 says
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
No where in the bible does it say NOT to ask for maxi dresses. So try to keep that in mind while reading the rest of this post.
I am a firm believer in God being less like this serious dude who works in only BIG important things, and more like my dad, who cared about both the BIG important things, and the little tiny unimportant things.
I fortunately grew up with a super great dad. Sometimes he was there to comfort me, and pray with me when I woke up scared early in the morning from a nightmare (BIG things to a little kid). Other times we just drove to the hardware store together in his cruddy old el camino (I still stand by those being super cool, when can those make a comeback?) and spit sunflower seeds out the window. Which I was equally cruddy at, and it usually looked something like a sneeze and less of a targeted spit. My dad never once yelled at me for getting slobber all over his car. He’s so nice, and now my kids spit things and he’s still nice. Love you dad!
I remember one year on my 13th birthday, I asked for “fancy bathroom stuff”. I’ve ALWAYS had a MAJOR over-fascination with shampoo, bubble baths, lotions, perfume ect.
Anyway, this birthday I was getting a special ring (a promise ring) and a few other small gifts. My dad really wanted to pick out something special himself (besides a ring), and he was REALLY proud of the gift he brought home for me to open. I was anticipating a fancy shampoo, or bath salts (I was HUGE into bath salts, did I mention that?).
I begin to open a beautiful tiny gift bag with baby pink and white stripes and pink tissue paper. I peer inside with excited 13 year old eyes only to find…
an industrial finger nail scrub brush.
If this doesn’t explain the difference between men’s interpretations of our words, and our thoughts as girls/women when we say them, I don’t know what does.
I had to muster up some enthusiasm. As I entered into a world I now call, “stating my expectations” with all men, I also was extremely grateful that he had tried SO hard. Mom didn’t (obviously) even help him. I loved him for it, and I’ll never forget it. Every time I see a finger nail scrub brush I think of my sweet dad trying to fulfill all of my birthday wishes of “fancy bathroom stuff”. He tried so hard to give me what I wanted, but kinda missed what I was going for.
So God is not like that. He pretty much knows spot on, and usually better then what we think we want. And, if we ASK him, he sometimes even gives us what we ask of him, or better.
I grew up believing that nothing was too small or unimportant to ask of God. So I did, on a regular basis. I needed some extra cash to attend a DC Talk concert, I’d pray for a few babysitting jobs. I wanted a sweet parking spot, I’d ask and sometimes he’d make one for me.
Some might chalk this up to the universe, positive thinking, willing it into being – whatever. I’ve tried to will stuff into being and it never works for me. (post on public restrooms coming soon regarding, “willing things into being”).
I think there’s more to it then just those human attempts.
Sometimes real life is in the little unimportant details. Sometimes we learn to trust God in the small details, so that when we need him in the BIG moments, we are sure to know he will be there.
The other day, I did some laundry. Somewhere in the mix, my red faded cutoff-sleeve shirt from Target that stated on the washing label, “color will fade with washing” escaped my mind, and I threw it in along with all of my other clothes, failing to acknowledge that if this fades with washing, the that fade goes onto other pieces of clothing, as a red color bonus. How exciting for me.
My black and white striped maxi (it’s a long dress) was in there. And it now shares similar colors to my continually fading red cutoff sleeve shirt. Bummer.
I was super sad. Seeing as how a fancy outfit in my life now consists of a maxi dress, this was kinda devastating to my little fashion world. Let it be known that most days I wear sweat-pant shorts and a t-shirt when I know I don’t have to leave the house. So a maxi dress is really jazzing it up.
So I said a prayer, in my laundry room to Jesus, and it went something like this, “Lord I super ruined my last fitting maxi dress (I shrunk the other one (on trend: laundry disasters) and my other one requires a belt, which I can’t be bothered with). Please somehow give me a replacement.”
I said this in full faith, because 1. It is SUPER impossible for me to find awesome fitting maxi dresses because I am so tall (where do these girls find them??), 2. I looked ALL summer for ONE, and although I tried on plenty, I found NONE. 3. I have zero time to shop for myself, like not the time it requires to search and destroy for something like this.
So this was really a prayer of faith, and sadness, asking my dad (God) to fix my mistake.
And he did.
At Whole Foods of all places.
I found three. And they were very reasonable priced for such a thing as maxi dresses. I bought them thinking, what are the chances that ONE of these will fit perfectly? I held my breath as my kids watched me try out my “princess dresses”.
Each one fit.
God is never a genie, but he does sometimes answer the prayers of our heart, however small and absurd they may seem. And occasionally he will bless you with more then what you’ve asked. I think because he loves us, and knows that sometimes we are ridiculous but loves us anyway.
So, wishes need not apply – I’ve got better than a genie, I’ve got a God who loves me and doesn’t mind when I spit sunflower seeds on his car or ruin things in the laundry.
Thanks for reading.