Yesterday morning I had a selfish prayer request.
I try to not ask for anything for myself, because somehow it seems...small. Self focused. Not the place my attention is supposed to be. But the matter had been gnawing away at my mind and I did not see a resolution.
"Father", I asked, "can I please have the money to go to Japan to train next year?"
Self-centered, right? But strangely enough, important to me. I had to miss going a year ago and I would very much like to go next year as part of my development.
So I prayed. And went off, having forgotten about it.
Fast forward to the afternoon, when my boss presents me with a raise and a bonus. And not just a raise and a bonus, a raise and a bonus based on if I had worked there a full year, not five months. It was, shall we say very generous.
And then the prayer request came into my mind.
I am not (and have never been) a believer in the "pray and believe and it is yours" group (that whole "according to God's will" section always trips them up) nor am I of the "materialize your desires through positive thinking" crowd. I have no reason to suspect - nor do I believe - God will constantly do this for any us.
So why this? Why now?
If I had to theorize, I would thinking that God is playing to my own insecurities.
I am awash in feelings of discomfort and fear right now. There is so much instability in the world, so much anger, so much hatred. So much uncertainty. And into this comes God, not with the glaring answers to world problems but a mundane answer about money - as if to say "If I can answer this, surely I will deal with the rest in My own good time."
Perhaps the gift of money was really meant to answer a bigger need - the continuing belief and confidence in God's sovereignty.