Daniel 2-19-23 Matthew 18:19 I found a magic lamp – a Jesus in a bottle!

Daniel 2:19-23

“19….Daniel blessed the God of heaven,   20 saying, “Blessed be the name of God, forever and ever. He knows all, does all:   21 He changes the seasons and guides history, He raises up kings and also brings them down, he provides both intelligence and discernment,   22 He opens up the depths, tells secrets, sees in the dark—light spills out of him!   23 God of all my ancestors, all thanks! all praise! You made me wise and strong. And now you’ve shown us what we asked for. You’ve solved the king’s mystery.”

Matthew 18:19
“When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”

Prayer. David was in a pretty dicey situation, the expectations had been set with the king and he had to perform or else he’d end up on the trash heap with the rest of the sorcerers. God provided the answer and it wasn’t pretty for the king. Still David remained faithful.

Matthew had prayers answered no, prayers answered yes.

Prayer is powerful, and God answers all prayers. It doesn’t mean that he’s a genie though – you can’t rub his bellie and have him grant you a wish. Sometimes He answers prayers with a yes, sometimes He answers with a no. Why? Let’s remember that He is love, He is wisdom, He is knowledge, He is omniscient. He’s smarter than we are and knows more about more too.

Sometimes no, for what ever reason, is better than yes. If we don’t understand why during this life, we’ll understand in our next life where we’ll get answers to all the why questions. It’s about faith that God is who He claims to be, and the qualities God claims are true.

I heard a story yesterday about a guy who moved from New York to Chicago with a severely retarded son. He is recently divorced from the mother who stayed in NY. The mother said that had she known their son was going to be born with as severe a disability add he was born with, she would have aborted him. She’s not moving to Chicago to help care for her son. When asked if she’d watch him for part of the summer her response was along the lines of “if I do,I’m putting him up for adoption”. She wants nothing to do with her son, just wants him away so she can live her life. I’m pretty sure she’d thinks God sucks for putting such a horrible inconvenience in her life. I’m sure they prayed for a different outcome. In sure the father is still praying along the same lines, but God answered differently.

Somehow, the tangent in yesterday’s post becomes today’s focus: is what we call imperfect, flawed, really imperfect and flawed? Maybe we need to reconsider some things.

I heard the story from the boys care giver. She says the kid is so full of love it’s impossible to not see the beauty of God’s creation. How does someone like that get shunned because he has special needs? Because the boy doesn’t fit our version of perfect doesn’t mean he isn’t prefect in God’s eyes.

Imagine if God looked at us this way: you’re all broken and flawed, and I’m not going to help you anymore. I’m done with you.

Who’s more flawed here, us or God?

We want God to be our genie. He’s not Jesus in a bottle that we rub when we want something. We want him to answer our prayers the way we want them answered. He doesn’t. He answers prayer in the best way, the wisest way, the most omniscient way. It’s up to us to see the wisdom of no.  It’s up to us to see the beauty of the answer.

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