a unique son or a unique purpose, Arnold Palmer, bitterness, candy store, children, clerk, delayed their promise, disappointed with bigger and better, disenfranchised over a delay, don't ask for small gifts, Ephesians 2:20, fair, God-given dreams, greater blessing, keys for receiving, kind and just, not become jealous, rhythm and timing, spiritually spastic, T.D. Jakes, timing, Zechariah and Elizabeth
God tells us up front that His ways are not our ways. His ways are bigger and better…. beyond what we can even think or imagine! If the Lord’s ways are bigger and better, then why do we always appear to be disappointed with His bigger and better stuff? Could it be that we don’t really believe all that “good stuff” the Bible tells us about and are always bracing ourselves for disappointment.
There was one clerk in a large candy store who always had people waiting in line, even when the other clerks were standing around with nothing to do. The manager finally asked her why she was so popular with customers.
“It’s easy,” she responded. “The other clerks always scoop more than a pound of candy and then start taking away. I always scoop less than a pound and then add to it.”
The Lord works the same way with us many times. With one hand, the Lord scoops and delivers a smaller than expected portion, lays it on the counter and watches our response. If we become dejected and despondent, then He knows whether we are totally grateful. If we are truly grateful for His blessings, He then, with His other hand, lays an even greater scoop of blessing on the counter.
In Luke 1 we discover that Zechariah and Elizabeth wanted children. So, when things were not going their way, they prayed for God to intervene. They wanted what everyone else wanted and most were getting. But God wanted to give them someone special – a unique son for a unique purpose. God needed a special set of parents to raise a prophet. He delayed their answer because He had a much better answer in mind.
Still, day after day, month after month, and year after year, babies were being born to families and friends. This couple saw life move on for other people. For Zachariah and Elizabeth, it didn’t appear too difficult for God to answer the desires and wishes of other parents.
One of the keys to receiving from heaven is to not become jealous of what other people are receiving from the Lord. If we continue to think along these lines, bitterness can creep into our thought life. Our problem is that we simply want what everyone else is getting. God never promised He would answer in “fair fashion”. Fair is a man-made standard. If God gave us what is fair, we all would have been destroyed long ago.
The Bible does say the Lord is “merciful, kind, and just” and He will answer accordingly. When our prayers are delayed, most become content to settle for less than what God originally promised. The key is to not become disenfranchised over a delay.
Golfer Arnold Palmer once played a series of exhibition matches in Saudi Arabia. The king was so impressed that he proposed to give Palmer a gift. Palmer said, “It really isn’t necessary, Your Highness. I’m honored to have been invited.”
“I would be deeply upset,” replied the king, “if you would not allow me to give you a gift.” Palmer thought for a moment and said, “All right. How about a golf club? That would be a beautiful memento of my visit to your country.”
The next day the title to a golf club with thousands of acres, trees, lakes and a clubhouse was delivered to Palmer’s hotel. The moral of this story is: In the presence of a King, don’t ask for small gifts! (Brennan Manning, Lion and Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus (Baker, 1986)
God’s word encourages us to ask God for His best and wait for Him to move in His time. Ephesians 2:20 which says, “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Do you believe this verse? Trust the Lord and release the power which is at work with you!