A few months ago, I began praying that my granddaughter would be accepted into a particular charter school. (It’s admission by lottery, but we were hopeful.)
She didn’t get in. (At least, not yet.)
And even though I understand odds and lotteries, this is what I sensed from God the Father as I politely asked him why she didn’t get in.
“I have a better idea.”
I don’t know what he has in mind. I’m just saying that’s what came to me.
The concept of God as our Father is complicated. You might not believe in God. You might think God is a nice concept but not real. You might not like your earthly father so why in the world would you want to think about the father-ness of God. Your dad might be a horrible person, or sort of “meh,” or Best. Dad. Ever.
Even the best dads, however, can’t approach Father God perfection or perfect love. So go with me for a minute. If God is real, might he really have better ideas?
If I hadn’t listened to my father growing up, I’d probably be dead. He had a better idea about whether or not little 3-year-old Debbie should run out into traffic without looking. He had the big picture. And he loved me, even when running across the street to the ice cream truck just seemed so right to me.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13:11-12
So ok, I really do think this “better idea” thing applies to prayer. I also think it applies to the hot button issues of our time. I’m SO tempted to frame those topics in a PC way without further ado. After all, I’m an American living in 2017! PC-ness is progressive, embracing, freeing, but on topics we tend to polarize on, what if God might be saying “I have a better idea”? That idea might land on one side or the other…or be something else entirely. (Stay tuned for next week’s post entitled “If God Were an App.”) Anyway, what if God knows what’s best for us but we don’t like it?
We just have to remember that Father part. That part about perfection and perfect love. That part that is beyond us.
As to my granddaughter and the better idea, this is what came to me.
“Watch me work.”