I have a very bad habit (one among many). I tend to be competitive, and a bit of a perfectionist when I work at something. I’m never satisfied with “good enough” when I think I can do a little better. This includes shopping for bargains. I will go to great lengths to stretch a dollar; to save a few cents–outlet and discount stores, sale shelves, bargain basements–I’ve haunted them all.
But prayer shouldn’t be a “bargain basement” encounter. God is not in the business of selling. He’s in the business of redeeming. God is lavish in his Grace, and sufficient– even abundant– in his blessings.
Don’t misunderstand– God has not promised us wealth and ease and constant comfort. And God is not a vending machine or a genii, that I should tell him what I want and expect that he will grant my every whim. But I tend to come to God as if I had to earn his approval, or pay for his gifts. I ask for the bare minimum– “just help me get through this meeting”, “you know what bills are outstanding– just help us catch up”– and then I am surprised when that’s what I get.
It’s not that I am asking for bad things or wrong things, or that I should be asking for so much more. But what does my attitude say about God? I say that God is Love, I say that he is Good. I say that he can do anything, and that he is gracious and merciful. But my prayer life says otherwise.
It’s time that I ask God for “my daily bread”, without expecting day-old leftovers. And, when he choose to give me Manna, it’s time for me to see that provision for the miracle and the blessing that it is.