This past week I was watching my favorite miniseries of all time, Jesus of Nazareth. Even though I own it on DVD, I was super excited to find out that it was on Netflix. But then I got really irritated because for unknown reasons, they chose a version that is edited a lot, like over an hour of stuff missing. Luckily, I happened to find another (legal) version online. If you haven’t seen it, it’s magnificent. There are so many classic movie stars that have guest roles and the actor that plays Jesus is spectacular. The movie keeps very close to Scripture, though there are some changes and they do leave things out, but I don’t find this a problem at all. And fun fact, the Monty Python movie Life of Brian used the same sets when they filmed their movie.
Anyways while I was watching, one of the scenes seemed to jump out at me. It involved Jesus speaking to the crowds basically telling them this passage:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)
So that got me thinking. The Lord gives us what we ask for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to get everything that we want. I’ve reached the age where I now have several friends who are parents and I’m watching them handle their children. Even when their child is yelling and begging for something, the parents don’t necessarily give it to them because they know what’s best for their child. Sure it might make the kid hate the parent for a little bit and be very angry at them, but that doesn’t mean that they have to have it at the moment. There are many reasons why they weren’t given what they wanted: it wasn’t time yet for it, it wasn’t meant for them to have, it’s not safe, they weren’t meant to have it at all. The parent, because they are wiser, is making choices that is best for their child even though the child doesn’t realize it at the moment.
And that’s what happens in the rest of our lives. We can pray and beg God to have something happen because we really want it to. And we’re convinced that it’s best for us and surely God can see how getting this will be absolutely beneficial to everyone. When we don’t get it, we get angry at God because he didn’t allow it to happen.
There’s been many times in my life when I just get flat out frustrated with God because I don’t understand why things aren’t going the way I want. I have many questions that I ask him. “What will happen? Why am I going through this? What do I do? What do you want me to do?” And I can’t understand why he’s making me go through certain things. But as the Scripture says, if a parent who is imperfect knows what is best for their child, shouldn’t I trust that my Heavenly Father who IS perfect knows what’s best for me? If I’m going to place my faith and trust in him, then I should understand and realize that my wants and desires may not always be what God knows that I need.
The hard part can be when it’s not clear at the moment why I can’t have that desire but eventually “peace comes not from knowing what lies ahead, but knowing that God is the same before, during and after whatever it is.” (http://www.boundless.org/faith/2009/god-told-me)
And who says movies are only good for mindless entertainment and don’t get you to ponder things?