I like to sit on my front porch in the morning to drink coffee. While my small city home has a nice treed lot in the backyard, the front yard (that has the porch) faces a busy wine bottling plant. I am not complaining, mind you, but the last couple months there has been a truck bed parked lengthwise directly across the street with a billboard on it advertising something that is irrelevant to the story – it’s just that I don’t like to look at this ugly truck when I sit there. I’d rather look at the plain side of the building (if I squint it looks like a sandy sea shore). :-)
Anyway, I told the Lord about this eye-sore and asked if He would move the truck. Nothing is too hard for Him, right? (that’s what I believe too). Well, for several days I continued to express to Him how much I’d love for it to be gone.
Well one morning last week I was sitting on my porch again when there was a ‘beep-beep’ sound. Before my very eyes a tow-tractor backed up to the trailer bed and hauled it away! I thanked the Lord, and later told my Mom about the answer to prayer.
The next morning when I sat outside on the front porch however, I was dismayed to find it had been returned to the same spot! :-/
I sat there a little upset. I told the Lord I love Him irregardless, that I trust Him in everything, and I know He loves me – but why couldn’t He just remove the truck for good? It would be so easy for Him. Put it somewhere else. Why the tease?
That’s when I heard Him say, “You have not because you ask not”.
I didn’t understand. I argued with the Lord, “But I did ask”!
He replied, “No, you did not”.
He continued… “You haven’t walked across the street to the office and asked someone there if they could move the truck”!
I was rendered speechless.
Suddenly I wasn’t sure how much I really wanted the truck removed! Was it worth being so assertive? To risk them being irked with me as a neighbor?
Perhaps. But the point I learned from this was huge.
Never did it hit me quite like this. That “making our request known to God” is not something that is separate from making them known to others. This includes being honest, courageous, and clear about what our desires are. Going to God is not to be an excuse for hiding from ‘doing the right thing’.
Asking God for something is easy – asking others is hard! This difference ought not to be. Somehow this separation must be bridged and brought into a place of oneness internally. It starts I believe, with being honest with ourselves, honest with God, and honest with others.
When these things come into congruence, perhaps we will see so many more answers to prayer, healing, and the desires of our hearts exploding all around us.
Just some thoughts, not fully developed. The truck is still parked across the street, reminding me every day of this lesson. And yes, I will someday walk over there and personally express my desire to someone at the plant. :-)