Last week I was distractedly drying my hair, my phone propped up and one hand slowly scrolling through daily happenings of my friend’s lives, when my eye caught this image someone shared:
The “Positivity” side of me cheered. I love this thinking! Stay positive and good things will happen! Hurray!
But then as I began working my brush through my tangled strands, I thought a little deeper.
Wait a second ….
I think positive. I pray positive. I write in my gratitude journal, I preach His Words out loud to myself, I surround myself with positive people and books. So … why weren’t my big prayers being answered? Why weren’t my positive things happening?
The more I thought about this quote, the more restless I got.
IT’S A LIE!
You can’t simply think positive and have good things happen. Positive thinking doesn’t always equal positive outcomes.
What happens when you think positive and you don’t get the job you really wanted?
What happens when you think positive and your IVF cycle results in a negative?
What happens when you think positive and the miscarriage still occurs?
What happens when you think positive and the test doesn’t go well, your product line isn’t selling, your son is still addicted to drugs?
I think for many of us, it leaves us feeling like a failure, or even worse, like God has failed you.
You did all the right things. You believed, you had faith, you were positive! The quote told you positive things would happen! Which then leaves you to ponder, what happens when the prayers aren’t answered?
Can I tell you today that it doesn’t mean you failed? That you weren’t positive enough? That you aren’t enough?
Friends, when what we pray for doesn’t happen, fight the urge to get discouraged. Fight the urge to become bitter and give up. Lately, God has been stretching my heart and mind on prayer. He’s been smacking me with reminders of His desire for me to have wholehearted conversations with Him, to share the positive and not-so-positive thoughts on my mind. He’s been breathing the truth that no amount of positive thinking will alter the amount of influence He has in the outcomes of my life.
Now yes, I firmly believe that having a grateful, kind, positive heart will alter the attitude you carry with you each day. It will increase your joy, your ability to praise Him and help you see His hand a little bit more clearly. It’s demonstrating obedience to what He has commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT): “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” But it doesn’t mean that God will grant you extraordinary genie-like access to His power.
God loves us, so much. He is interested in every detail of our lives. He hears every prayer we pray. He never abandons us. Even when we don’t feel like our prayers aren’t being answered.
Here is what I think the quote should say:
God-things are so much better than good things. God-things result in Him being glorified, our faith being strengthened, and our prayers really being answered. Timothy Keller says ““God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything He knows.” Friends, HE KNOWS! Be reassured that He sees the big picture!
I finished blow drying my hair that day and was thankful for the chance to ponder the trust we have in Him. Isn’t that what it all comes down to? And friends, trust isn’t a single day thing – it’s an every day, eat-sleep-drink-repeat, sort of thing. He’s got this and because of that, we’ve got this.