How do you respond when things don't go your way? Your response may depend on the generation of which you are a part.
A few will say: Well, I guess it wasn't meant to be.
Some will say: This too shall pass.
Others will say: Why do I never get what I want?
Still others will say: I don't want to deal with this unpleasantness. You fix it for me. Give me exactly what I want and demand!
How do you respond? Are you able to accept that some things just don't turn out the way you had hoped or anticipated? Do you kick and scream until you get your own way? Or do you wind up somewhere in the middle — disappointed but accepting of the situation?
Again, your response may be, by and large, dependent on your generational position. Or, it may be dependent on your geographical location and the type of community in which you grew up.
How you respond may also be tied into the level and maturity of your faith in God.
I might dare say that those who petition God for unrealistic requests – like a new car, more money, more material possessions – are rather new to the faith and somewhat immature in this area. They tend to see God as a giant genie who is supposed to grant all their wishes.
(If you haven't already, watch the movie "Bruce Almighty" and you'll get a hint of why God does not give us everything we desire.)
It is important to understand that when God doesn't give us what we ask, even when it sounds so reasonable and sincere, it is because it is not the best thing for us or those for whom we ask.
For example: When my mother was dying of pancreatic cancer, prayers were lifted for healing. When she died, a few people were disappointed that their prayers went unanswered.
They were somewhat taken aback when I assured them their prayers were answered. I said, "She has received the ultimate healing that can be given. She is in heaven, cured of her disease, free from pain, and rejoicing in the presence of our Lord."
I'll ask again, how do you respond when things don't go your way? Let me encourage you to look at the situation through the eyes of our loving Lord, and be accepting that what is ultimately the best is what he will do for you.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.