When I was about 16, I played in a Youth Basketball league. Our team
was pretty good and that year, we were on our way to a Tri-Regional championship tournament when I came down with a case of walking pneumonia. Now the thing about walking pneumonia is…you’re still walking when you have it. You feel pretty good, you just don’t have the lung capacity and thus the energy to do what you normally could.
“You’re not going anywhere this weekend,” the doctor said, “You’ve got pneumonia.” “But Doc,” I complained, “this is a once-in-a-lifetime event! I can’t miss it. And what difference does it make if I go and watch—not play—just watch?” “Well,” he said pensively, “I guess you can go, but you can’t dress or play.”
“Yes Sir!” I replied.
Of course once we got to Hershey, PA where the tournament was being held, I started working on the coach. “C’mon coach, what difference does it make if I sit in the stands in street clothes or on the bench in my uniform? I’m not playing right?!” “I guess that’s OK he said.”
(You know where this is going…don’t you?)
At the beginning of the third quarter, one of our guys fouled-out and the game was very close. “Coach—you’ve GOT to put me in,” I argued. “I’m the only starter left and we can’t afford to lose this one.” After looking to my parents for guidance, he nodded yes and I ran on to the court. That’s about as far as I got. One or two trips down the court and I was gasping for breath and about to pass out. Coach called time out, benched me, and chewed me out for talking him into something that could have killed me.
At that point…I didn’t argue…I couldn’t…I was out of breath!
Sometimes getting what you want can kill you.
Over the years, I've noted that this is true physically, emotionally, and spiritually--what I want--what human beings often want--may not be good for us. And, while we may think otherwise and become VERY convincing in our arguments to that effect, the truth remains. If we get what we want, it may be the worst thing for us!
God knows this. And, that may explain why He says, "No," to some of our requests. While this may not explain every negative response to our prayers, we should remain open to the possibility that what we want may not be good for us.
The bottom line is that Jesus' prayer can and should be hours, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done (Luke 22:42)."
To that end,