At 2:00am everything becomes a prayer of deliverance, a challenge, and an excuse to get angry at God.
The dog won’t stop barking. You could stop it but you won’t.
The baby is crying again and you could give her peace so we can both get rest, but you won’t.
I’m coming down with a cold you could heal me of but you won’t.
I can’t sleep. I can’t stop worrying or crying.
I find myself stuck somewhere between depressed and furious. You could make everything better, but you won’t.
God is never more powerful than when we accuse him of being unwilling. Luckily Jesus doesn’t let us bully him into giving us our way. We beg God for a break, for rest, for sleep, for peace, for love, for money, for healing. We rage at him about our pain, all the while holding onto it desperately. We rationalize that we are only asking for what we have earned. We refuse to let our earthly demands go and lean on Him for all our needs. If we actually accepted that God was there during a difficult time, we couldn’t blame Him. So, we start marking up a score card of our own creation, asking God, "Where were you here? Where were you there? Where were you when this happened?" whining about how we did our part, upheld our side of the bargain--a bargain that God didn’t ask for or agree to. We say, “I went to church, I helped, I tithed, I served, I listened, I, I, I. God, you promised but you didn’t come through.”
Our favorite time to go to God is when we think we are owed something, when we can’t see him working in our lives because we haven’t sat down and shut up long enough to notice. But like the most loving and patient parent, Jesus is waiting for our tantrum to end and for our complaining and bargaining to be over so the he can show us that our prayers have been answered.
We didn’t get exactly what we wanted but we got exactly what we needed.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)