Have you ever wished for something and when you eventually got that thing, you were not happy with what you received. “This can’t be what I wished for”, you’ll say to yourself. It reminds me of the saying that goes, “Be careful what you wish for or you just might get it.”
I am a child of God so I don’t believe in wishes but I have prayed to God for things that I was not ready for. You just have to love the way God operates. Sometimes He delays the answer to our prayers. Other times, He gives us the thing we ask for even though it is not His perfect will for our lives. It is called His permissive will. I remember when I went to serve in Ibadan and I desperately needed a place to stay. I was staying with someone I met while in camp and I needed to have a place of my own where I would be free. I got an apartment but that apartment came with its own troubles. It was in a neighbourhood where robbers visited frequently. Every night our sleep was disturbed by screams of “Ole, Ole” (thief, thief) and gunshots (well not every night). Going out after 8pm was a dangerous adventure. I was even robbed at gunpoint on a beautiful Sunday morning on my way to church. If I had a chance to do it again, I would have preferred to stay with the lady from camp than to live in that death zone that was called a corper’s lodge.
It’s not only in relation to accommodation that I wish I hadn’t asked God for certain things. I have experienced it in my love life. Yes people, Doyin has a love life or should I say had? When I moved back to Nigeria, little did I know some vultures had been marking time for me. “Doyin, do you know the last serious relationship you were in was three years ago? What is the matter?” I heard that statement a lot, from family, friends and surprisingly, strangers. It will shock you how gist flies in this part of the world. Although I hadn’t been in a relationship in a long while, I wasn’t in a hurry to be in one. Relationships are tedious and at that point in my life, I just couldn’t be bothered. However to reduce the number of wagging tongues, I started to pray seriously about meeting the right person. It started to become an obsession at some point. I wanted my other half and I wanted him to come sharp sharp.
And he came; or so I thought. Finally God had answered my prayers. This was my final bus stop. Let’s ignore the nudging of the Holy Spirit to take things slow. I was taken by the idea of being in love and there was no stopping me. Few weeks into it, the scales began to peel off. “This is not what I want”, I began to say to myself. I looked at my prayer check list. God had given me exactly what I asked for; a man who loves God, prayerful and involved in ministry, incredibly talented, patient and he cared about me. So what was wrong? He just wasn’t the right person for me. He wasn’t God’s plan for me. I had to learn that the hard way.
Many things pressure us to ask God for things we are not ready for. I know someone who wants to travel out of Nigeria so badly but it has never worked out for her. So many times I have tried to tell her that life abroad is not as rosy as she imagines but my girl is having none of that. I also know someone who prayed earnestly for a better paying job but now her prayer point is for the cup of this job to pass over her. The job has taken all of her life literally.
I could go on and on and give you other examples.but there’s no need for that. The point I want to drive home is that you should be mindful of the things you wish or pray for. Don’t ask God to bless you with a particular thing just because your neighbour has it. Ask for that thing because you actually need it and it is in line with God’s will for your life. It is not by force for you to travel abroad. You can succeed right here in Nigeria. If it is God’s will that you spread your wings abroad, be rest assured that you will do so. Likewise, you don’t have to get married in 2015 by fire by force. Relax. Why put so much pressure on yourself? If you surrender your plans and desires to God, He will make everything fall into place.
Let’s be mindful of the things we pray for ok? Don’t be covetous. Don’t be jealous of another person’s progress. Your time is coming. Just be patient and let God do His thing. Ever since I surrendered my desires to God, I have had peace all around. Those things I used to be anxious about (e.g. marriage) don’t cause me sleepless nights anymore (*I am not sure my mother will be too pleased to hear this 🙂 ). You can enjoy that kind of peace too.