Several weeks ago I got one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had. Normally I make my own coffee with my little one-cup machine, keeping a few different flavors in the pantry from which to choose. However, occasionally I treat myself to a “specialty” coffee at the coffee shop or, more recently, the famous chain donut shop that is closer to home. They are known for really good coffee and this is where I obtained the mysteriously delicious brew on that particular day. I use the term mysterious because I have since returned three times in order to delight myself again with this flavor, but each time have driven away disappointed.
I have gone over and over this process in an effort to discover where it’s going awry. It was clear by the second order that we were not on the same page, this new server and I. In response to my repeating exactly what I had ordered the first time she said “Huh??” Now what? Second server doesn’t know what first server gave me. We go through a few questions before she determines what she thinks he did. I drove away. It’s not right. The next time, I am very distinct in the details that I gleaned from second server when speaking to third server. Still not right. Obviously, I can’t sit in the drive-thru line until it’s cooled enough to taste, so I’m almost home before I discover it is not what I wanted. I am tempted to turn around to tell them it’s not right, but since I don’t exactly know what’s wrong, I don’t know how to tell them to get it right! I realize there are limited combinations of the few ingredients that could possibly be included, so if I persevere, sooner or later I am bound to get the combination right. I just hope I remember what I order by that time!!
As I sat in the drive-thru this morning with high hopes, it struck me that sometimes we offer God our drive-thru prayers. I’m sure we’ve all done it – prayed for something and when the answer came it was exactly what we wanted or even better than we expected. We then tried to take all our requests through this same process expecting the same outcomes. When answers came that were less than we had hoped or not exactly what we envisioned, we analyzed what we prayed and how we prayed it hoping to discover the perfect combination that will get us what we want. Sometimes we’ve even have the audacity to tell God He got our order wrong.
We often measure whether or not our prayers are successful by whether or not we get what we wanted. What a foolish way to view His working in our lives! Jesus told us to pray bold prayers full of faith. He is seated at the right hand of God interceding for us as we learn and grow and ask. He taught, and is still teaching us, what His will is and how to pray for His will not our own. And He said trust. Trust that He will do what is right for us. Trust that He is still working when things are not like we want them and our expectations go unfulfilled. Trust that He is good. Trust that He is for us and not against us. Trust that His love will drive out our fears of not getting what we want.
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever… Deuteronomy 29:29
Some things will be secrets that we cannot understand this side of heaven. Some things are revealed to us and belong to us – the things we learn and know about Him and His ways give us hope. And true hope in Him never disappoints (Romans 5:5).
I didn’t get the coffee I wanted this morning. Again. But I got a great reminder that God has my best interests at heart and He will never get it wrong.