She scrunched her face up and whined, in that higher-than-Minnie-Mouse tone, “I didn’t want that cereaaaaaaal!” This third child of ours had somehow been gifted with the ability to be very loud, and lately, very whiny--probably a coping skill so that she could be heard over the roar of the rest of the family at times.
Taking a deep breath, I said, “Can you ask it in a question?”
“What?” she sniffled.
“What do you need? Ask it in a question.”
“Um… Can I have a different cereal please?” she said, in an almost-normal-pitched voice.
This has been our mantra lately: “Ask it in a question.” She’s slowly getting it, thank the Lord.
In the Christian world, we often talk about “hearing God’s voice” and “following what God is telling you.” But I’m afraid a lot of times, I’m guilty of doing so much whining to myself that I forget to put it in question form and present my requests to God. After all, how can I expect to hear back from God when I haven’t even asked?
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
With thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Isn't thanksgiving the opposite of whining? Whining says, “Woe is me, I didn't get what I wanted.” Thankfulness says, “I’m grateful for what I was given.” This means first, we need to get ourselves to a place of gratefulness. Then we need to make our requests to God--plain and simple.
But maybe not. Do you ever feel like your requests are too petty to bring them to God? Or do you feel like you’ve bothered God enough with this one thing? I do sometimes. But Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” All kinds? On all occasions? Well, that pretty much covers even the (seemingly) small requests, doesn’t it?
Now what about hearing God’s answer? Well, my daughter only wants to hear one answer: YES. If I say no, she’s back to the whining again. So we’ve had this talk lately: Be prepared, because I might say yes, or I might say no.
Are we listening for God’s answers after we ask? Are we prepared for a yes OR a no?
I’m a practical gal, so I like to know exactly HOW we hear God’s answers. This can be a personal topic, but here is my experience:
I hear God speak through scriptures that I read.
I hear God speak through a wise, Christian friend.
I hear God speak through a sermon.
I hear God speak through a song on the radio or a movie.
And oftentimes, it is more than one of the above, speaking the same message within a short period of time. Some people call it a “spiritual echo.” This is my favorite because I get confirmation that what I think I’m hearing from God is correct. I feel like it’s a little elbow-nudge from God, saying, “You got it?”
After all, don’t we need to tell our kids the same thing more than once? Like twenty times? (Sigh.)
At this point, we’ve heard God’s answer, and if it is a NO, then we need to trust Him with that no. We trust and believe that it’s all working for our good because of His great love for us, even though we might not understand it at the time.
What do you need today? Is there a whiny voice in your head and heart? Turn it into a question and present your request to the Lord, the one who loves you more than you can imagine!