This week, I was convicted…for being ungrateful.
Here’s the deal.
During the Lenten season, God birthed very specific dreams and prayers in my spirit. I prayed those prayers – circled them, as my Pastor has taught me – for weeks upon weeks and month after month.
I moved from a place of cautiously accepting that these were God-inspired thoughts, to faithfully expecting these prayers to come to fruition.
To answer my prayers and further His plan for my life, God had to create an opportunity. Just. For. Me.
The plan that He unfurled before me checked each of the specifications of my prayers to the letter. It was both exciting and humbling. Overwhelming and perfect.
Just as His plan was coming to fruition though, I began to question whether it was indeed the path I was supposed to take.
(Despite the fact that He confirmed and reconfirmed that that was indeed my path in many a subsequent prayer.)
Well, I guess He finally got fed up with my double-mindedness.
One morning this week during my prayer and quiet time He said, “I created this opportunity just for you. It is exactly what you asked for to accomplish exactly what I need for your life.”
And just like that I got the revelation that I was being ungrateful.
Not in the strictly traditional sense of not appreciating a gift given to me, but in a new way of not rejoicing fully in an answered prayer – a gift custom-made for me.
Somehow, this brand felt like a deeper, different kind of ungratefulness and I quickly repented, overjoyed to return to the peace of knowing that I was walking in God’s will and plan for my life.
But man, the memory of knowing that I was ungrateful, that I’d allowed my worldly eyes to discolor the truth of what God said I could do and have. That still stings.
Here’s what I know now friends: it can be hard to see this flavor of ungratefulness because it doesn’t present itself as the sour-mouthed, plain face one usually recognizes when the gift you’ve just received isn’t quite what you expected.
No this kind of ungratefulness presents itself as, “I just want to be sure it’s you God.” “Hmm, is it really God’s will or mine?” Or even, “This is too good to be true; it can’t be for me.”
So, let me share these three quick tips with you so you can avoid being ungrateful when God answers your prayers so well you just can’t believe the blessing is for you:
2. Don’t resent the down time. I wanted God to answer my prayer when I wanted it; much sooner than God’s timeline. I became so married to seeing God move according to my schedule that when it didn’t happen I started to question if I was going in the right direction, if the path I was on was in fact where He wanted me to go. But, I learned early on in this season that promotion before preparation results in poor performance — and sometimes failure. So I’m contently waiting for God to align things EXACTLY how they need to be for me to succeed and for Him to get ALL the glory. In the meantime, opportunity after opportunity is being thrown my and my family’s way. I’ve realized that they aren’t all for us to move on them now — they’re a foretelling of what’s to come and a reminder to soak up this down time. New seasons often mean increased demand on us (spiritually and in the world) so rest up now because promotion soon comes.
You know, the word says in Proverbs 3:5-6:
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
If we really, truly, deep down believe this scripture then there is no way that we should ever be surprised, overcome/overwhelmed, anxious or fearful to the point of freezing in place when God answers our prayers directly.
I think somewhere along the way religion made us believe that the only way we could ever really get anything good in our lives was to go through hell. But, I would argue that that is contrary to the word of God which tells us that He orders our steps and makes our paths straight.
So the next time you see the manifestation of some audacious prayer that you’ve prayed, don’t be ungrateful.
Our God is a God of right now, suddenly, and exceedingly and abundantly. And He loves you enough – SO MUCH in fact – that He delights in blessing you.
So, whoever you are reading this. I believe God led you here because you’ve been asking Him for confirmation. You’ve been asking Him to give you a sign that this huge blessing, this too-good-to-be-true blessing is really for you.
Pray once more asking God if this is the sign. And if afterwards you feel peace about accepting your blessing, know that it was God answering your prayers and believe that He tailor-made that blessing just for you.
And please, don’t be ungrateful.
I’ll leave you with this classic hymn that serves as a reminder to not just be grateful, but that our God is a God of balance. So no matter how tough your trials have been, know that your blessings will be just that big!