Monday, January 17, 2011

You Don't Know What You're Asking

For the past few weeks I have been digging through old photos and family history.  I have traced part of my family back to the year 1000.  Let me tell you right now that when you go digging through the past you better be prepared for a few surprises.  Some surprises are fun and some I would just as soon have never known.  One of my ancestors escorted Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) into town when her army arrived in 1428.  How cool is that?  There were Kings guards, noblemen, mayors, one was the founder of the Templars, duelers and some accused of theft, looting, extortion, rape, arson and murder but were later pardoned by the king.  My family actually ended up in the United States after one ancestor was forced to leave France after an "unfortunate duel and disastrous affairs" in 1789.  Not so cool!  Well...the dueling part sounds sort of cool.

My Grandfather on left in 1914.
I woke early on January 12, 2011 with family history on my mind.  I began praying for my family.  Now often when I pray silently my mind tends to wonder a bit.  But in this moment I was very focused and I was making my appeal to the Lord and then as if He were sitting right there listening He replied "You don't know what you're asking.".

I admit I was a bit confused and surprised by the quick response.  I started going through my list of questions to make sure my prayers weren't being hindered by my worldly view.  Was I asking the impossible?  No, the bible tells me nothing is impossible for God.  Was I being selfish in my request?  I honestly don't think so.  Would it change the course of my family history? Yes.  Would lives be changed for the good in the long run.  Absolutely.  So what do you do in this situation?  What do you do when you ask God for something and you don't get the response you had hoped for?

I've spent some time thinking about it and have come to the conclusion that for me, in this particular instance, God was telling me that He could do it but that I wouldn't be able to bear it.  Since He has promised not to give me more than I can bear, I will take comfort in knowing that He knows what is best for me.  I will ask God to help me pray in accordance with His will so that I  know that my prayers will be answered.  I will remember what my pastor Patrick Payton said in 2002, "Prayer is where my arguments for my will and my choices begin to cease and where I adjust and surrender to the purposes and plans of God.".  I will refine my request until it lines up with God's will.

I love that I can courageously go before the throne of grace and continue to plead my case to a loving Father who will tell me no when it's for my good and encourage me to dig deeper within myself to reconcile the answer.  No matter what the history records say, my Father is God.  I am His treasured child and when I depart this world and my records are entered for future generations, I pray that no matter what else is said of me, that what will stand out is that I was a Christ Follower and that my descendants true heritage lies in heaven.


  1. You definitely have a gift for words! As for the "family", should I be worried now? Haha! I love you anyway. Gary

  2. I think that is very interesting! Very eloquently written I must say!

  3. Thank you Vivian! You are always a good encourager!