Wednesday, December 19, 2012
"Raw Cookie Dough"
Those rolls of chocolate chip cookie dough you can buy at the grocery store came out when I was a child in the 1960s. I soon discovered how good they were when baked. They were much better, however, when eaten raw (still are). I often begged my mother to "Let me just eat 'em like they are, Mama!" My mother wouldn't allow such a thing, however. "You'll shoot your eye out!" she often sa... well, actually, that's another story about another little boy, isn't it?! So, I only had that wonderful raw cookie dough when I snuck into the kitchen and cut off a chunk from the roll, hoping my mother wouldn't notice. Sadly, she did, with the tragic upshot being that she stopped buying the cookie dough.
We ask the Lord for many things He provides in precise response to our requests. "Ask and ye shall receive" (John 16:24). Other prayers are answered in such abundance and perfect wisdom that we may not even recognize God has provided in a manner "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). Some requests, however, fall on deaf heavenly ears, and let us be grateful that they do.
"Ye ask and have not because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3).
In prayer, our Heavenly Father's "No" may be as important as His "Yes." Regardless of how well meaning an "amiss" prayer may seem to our own perspective, grave destruction might result if we could somehow convince God to sentimentally acquiesce to our misguided desires. Indeed, Israel once begged God for a king so they could be more like the pagan nations around them (I Samuel 8:5). God responded in order to teach His earthly people a lesson, as well as provide a vital spiritual truth to us. "He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul" (Psalm 106:15).
Sometimes in prayer, we ask God for raw cookie dough. We make request for that which seems good, but which would harm us and others if provided. Thus, we do well to ask our Lord for His guidance as we pray. Moreover, we should thank Him for those times when we "ask and have not." God spares us bellyaches and far worse by loving us enough to say "No" when and as necessary.
"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us."
(I John 5:14)