Things You Thought You Knew, But Didn’t

This could be a lot longer than just one blog post, but for the sake of today’s post…

One of my favorite things on Facebook is hearing the hilarious things that the children of my friends with kids say. One of my friends and her young son Rhett were having a discussion at the kitchen counter one morning. She had two vitamins in her hand, and Rhett asked what they were. “Vitamins, so I’ll have some energy,” she said. He looked at her soberly and said, “I think you’ll need more than two.”

We laugh, because the idea of someone chugging a bottle of vitamins is ridiculous – it does no good to take more than two at a time – but I was thinking on the way to work, how many times do I do that with God? I don’t want my daily allowance of strength – I want to hoard it. I don’t want to have to pray, God give me the patience or grace or self-control I need to get through this day and have to pray the same prayer tomorrow. I want him to give me the strength I need to make it through the entire week. All at once. In advance.

I want my vitamins up front and en masse, please.

One of the divinely mysterious things about God (and I say “divinely mysterious” because you think he’d get tired of hearing me pray the same prayer every day) is that many times he only gives us a daily dosage of whatever we’re praying for. Patience. Sanity. Courage. Comfort. Peace.

He doesn’t give it to you all up front so you can say, “OK, thanks –I’ve got it from here. See you in a few weeks.”

This sounds like a principle we should all learn in the 5th grade…and maybe some of you did. (Those of you who did, you can pray for me.) But it didn’t fully sink in for me until this past year, when I wondered why I wasn’t being given 10 days of grace and strength ALL AT ONE TIME. I found I had to pray for it every day in order to function. It was both frustrating and humbling.

Give us this day our daily bread. Do not worry about tomorrow, for each day has its own troubles.

Didn’t someone try to teach me that in the 5th grade too?

Things you thought you knew, but didn’t.