Why Are We Surprised?
In reply Jesus said to the disciples, "If you only have faith in God - this is the absolute truth - you can say to this Mount of Olives, 'Rise up and fall into the Mediterranean,' and your command will be obeyed. All that's required is that you really believe and have no doubt! Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it's yours! But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too." Mark 11: 22-25 (TLB)
David Knisely is from Michigan. On a family vacation to the Black Hills of South Dakota, they were on a winding road that was popular with tourists because of the wild burros that often graze on the forested hillsides. They had talked about seeing the burros for days, and their five-year-old son was anxiously anticipating this experience. After driving for over an hour around the burro area marked on a tourist map, David told their son that they would have to give up on their search. From the back seat, David heard this quiet prayer: "Please God, help my daddy find the donkeys."
David's heart sank. How could he tell a five-year-old that God does not always answer prayer the way that we expect? As David was beginning a shaky explanation, they rounded a curve and saw a dozen burros dotting the hillside. The white-muzzled creatures began nibbling the dried grass on the shoulder of the road. Squeals of delight erupted from the back seat. Just as David was limiting God's power, their son's prayer was answered. Did David even stop to think that God might respond to their son's prayer? Certainly David was not expecting to see the burros. In today's verse, Jesus assures us, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Why are we surprised when our prayers are answered?
Prayer: Loving God, when we pray for guidance and help, fill us with trust as we seek your answer, in Jesus' name, amen.