It’s always test time and paper time and homework time. Man, I was a choir nerd in High School. I never had homework. Anyway, something that I always find intriguing is when I tell someone that I have a huge test that I am totally unprepared for, and they tell me they will pray for me. And I’m like “thanks!” But inside I’m really thinking “Praying for what? That all the answers magically appear in my brain as soon as I walk into the room? That God will send me back a week so I can start to study? That time will stop for an hour or two so I can cram some more?” And then of course I fail the test I didn’t prepare for and I’m like “Gee thanks, God. Where were ya?!” or “Didn’t you say ‘ask and you shall receive’? cause I definitely asked!”
I think that sometimes we expect God to do more than He should have to. (Well duh) God shouldn’t have to help me retain all the things I “studied”…and or didn’t.
I do, however, think it is reasonable to ask for a calm mind.
Anyway, when I thought of writing this blog…some time ago (I actually just found it in my drafts and decided to finish it) the phrase “Prepare for Rain” kept popping into my head. I have not seen the movie “Facing the Giants” in years, but I must have learned a huge lesson from it.
We have to prepare ourselves to be used by God. If we ask for something, we can’t just sit around and wait for God to give it to us. We have to prepare for what God is going to give. God has promised that He will be there for us– we just have to be ready.
From what I remember, in the movie the characters are praying to win their football games, and are acting like God won’t answer. After a while into the movie, the main character has a revelation! If you want God to give results, you have to prepare and be ready.
There is also the story of the two farmers. The needed rain badly because they can’t grow crops without rain. One farmer decided to just sit around and wait for rain, while the other goes out to his fields and begins to prepare the fields for rain. When raid did come, the farmer who did nothing lost his crop because he didn’t take care of his land. The farmer who prepared his fields grows his crops.
So I took this and applied it to my current life.
If I ask for God to help me pass my test, and the test comes along but I haven’t prepared for it- tough luck.
The key word…
Prepare: Make (something) ready for use or consideration.
Not just with tests and papers and endless homework assignments. But with “real life” things, too.
Finals week is approaching. Fast. I have discovered that it’s possible that I maybe might have procrastinated a teeny bit too much, maybe. (take no note to the dramatic sarcasm) Thus, leading to not enough thorough study time.
For me, it wasn’t uncommon to ask for prayer before a test. But what was I asking for? Something that God is not responsible for, of course. I know the bible says “ask and you shall receive”…but does that mean it is okay to ask God for things that WE should have prepared for? The things that WE are responsible for and failed to prepare for? Nope.
(Here is the part where I try to relate everything I have said back to the beginning and hope it makes sense)
I ask God for a calm mind. If I have not prepared for my test, when God is ready to calm my mind, it is impossible to do because I’m freaking out about the fact that I’m about to fail this test!
So, as I prepare to search other areas of my life where I need a prayer, mind, and action shift, (and catch up with studying) I ask you- Are you asking and expecting without preparing? To be ready requires action, and that action is faith. Faith that God will provide. In my case, that’s a calm mind.