Getting What We Ask For

Getting What We Ask For

A man asked his wife, “What would you most like for your birthday?”

She said, “I’d love to be ten again.”

On the morning of her birthday, he got her up bright and early and off they went to a theme park. He put her on every ride in the park — the Death Slide, The Screaming Loop, the Wall of Fear. Everything there was, she rode. She staggered out of the theme park five hours later, her head reeling and her stomach upside down.

Into McDonald’s they went, where she was given a Double Big Mac with extra fries and a strawberry shake. Then off to a theater to see Star Wars — more burgers, popcorn, cola and sweets. At last she staggered home with her husband and collapsed into bed.

Her husband leaned over and asked, “Well, dear, what was it like being ten again?”

One eye opened and she groaned, “Actually, I meant dress size.”

That story reminds me of what happened to James and John. They came to Jesus with a request. Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:36).

“They said to Him, ‘Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.'” (Mark 10:37)

Jesus told them they really didn’t know what they were asking for. He asked them, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38)

Their response? “Of course!” However, what they had in mind (prestige, power and glory) wasn’t the same thing Jesus had in mind (persecution, suffering and servanthood). Jesus gave them exactly what they asked for, but it wasn’t at all what they were hoping for when they made the request!

So often, the same thing happens in my life. God has a way of answering my requests, my prayers, in ways I never even dreamed of — not always in a pleasant way, not always in a way I would have chosen, but always in a way that He sees best.

Alan Smith

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