A joke goes:
The minister's little six-year-old girl had been so naughty during the week that her mother decided to give her the worst kind of punishment. She told her she couldn't go to the Sunday School Picnic on Saturday.
When the day came, her mother felt she had been too harsh and changed her mind. When she told the little girl she could go to the picnic, the child's reaction was one of gloom and unhappiness.
"What's the matter?
I thought you'd be glad to go to the picnic," her mother said.
"It's too late! the little girl said.
"I've already prayed for rain."
This jokes carries a few lessons it seems,
#1 - Patience...
In Youth Ministry circles, it is often taught that God
responds for our prayers FOR things with 3 results:
1. No... that request is not good for you in my plan,
so I will not give that to you/allow it/etc.
God may have something MUCH better planned for you!
2. Yes... that is a worthy request and I will honor it.
3. Yes, but not yet... either you or others involved are not yet ready,
or it is not the appointed time, so please be patient.
We are told that "patience is a virtue"
and that it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
In the case of this joke, the girl was not patient,
and may have had a negative impact on her day.
So, what a good reminder to stay patient!
#2 -- be careful what you pray for...
Have you ever wanted others to suffer if they caused you to suffer?
Of course, it is a basic human reaction.
Making requests out of hurt, anger, retaliation, revenge,
or anything other than love will not be
the way to imitate Christ.
God wants good things for each and every one of us.
So, enjoy the laugh, but also work on patience and
wishing loving things for others as well as yourself!
Have a blessed day!
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.