“If one prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunities to be courageous? If one prayed for their family to be closer, you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings? Or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”- Evan Almighty (2007)
Last June 24, it was my second time to go to the church service at Victory Fort Bonifacio. I was hoping to hear my cousin deliver the sermon again but God had other plans. In his place was Pastor Steve.
Pastor Steve’s sermon mainly revolved around how we usually ask the wrong question to God. And when He does answer, it’s not the answer we were expecting because we asked differently. However, His answers are always the answers we truly needed; the answers to the questions we should have asked instead.
I realized that this also applies to our wishes, hopes and dreams. Sometimes, we wish for one thing, only to be given another. Most of the time, we do not realize right away why we were not given what we wanted.
I was deathly afraid of not being able to walk after my mysterious illness as a kid. I talked about it in a previous post. Two months later, I badly sprained my right ankle, causing me to face my fear of the wheelchair and confinement to my bed. I had to learn to swallow my pride and ask for help, learning that there are people who are genuinely willing to help and not see me as an inconvenience.
I wanted to be a doctor. But, circumstances would not allow it. Five years later, we had to make a decision that involved responsibilities that I could not have fulfilled had I still been in medical school. I also got into a job that allowed me to travel to so many places in my country, which could not have been possible had I still been studying.
Normally, in a fight or flight situation, I would choose the second option. I have always disliked heated conversations when people’s tempers are at their peak. Just a few weeks ago, I found myself assisting a colleague in a call with a difficult stakeholder and managing to cut it when the discussion was leading nowhere anymore. I had to confront my fear of heated arguments, raised and angry voices, and display of dominance.
Also, I realized how I was limiting myself to just wanting to hear my cousin deliver the sermons during the weekends. I wanted someone familiar; someone I felt comfortable with. I was afraid of exploring this new path I was taking towards deepening my faith with a complete stranger delivering the lectures. Just when I thought I had it all figured out (which date and time of service to attend), I found someone else capturing my attention completely. I had to open myself up to learning from a lot of persons rather than from a select few.
It’s normal to want to shy away from things that we are not comfortable with. Sometimes though, we are made to face them when we do not want to because it’s what we need.