I just read an email from my sister, Barbara, in which she said some
very complimentary things about my husband's attempts to fulfill any
expressed desire of mine. I learned early in our long marriage to be
careful what I wished for. Clyde would try his best to get it for me as
soon as possible at whatever the cost or effort to himself. He would
take my most casual wish at face value and soon there it would be..a
wish come true. I was very touched at his sweet generosity and
determined never to misuse or abuse such love. Very seldom have I
expressed a sincere wish or desire that he has
not made every effort to fulfill.
There have been a few brash or foolish or light-hearted wishes
that wisely were never answered. One such instance involved a baby
elephant. I have always thought there is something very endearing about
baby elephants..I guess all babies of any variety have a certain charm
about them. The cute awkwardness and clumsiness and yes, the sweetness
of baby elephants in spite their size just warms my heart. Silly as it
sounds, they bring out the hug in me.
One day years ago, for some reason we were talking about elephants
and I made the stupid remark that I wish I had a baby elephant because they are so
cute. My daughter Debbie, a teenager at that time, gave me that look of
pained endurance that all parents of teens know so well. She said in a
"Have you ever petted a baby elephant? They are tough and their hair is
all stiff and bristly".
(Where she garnered this information I do not know) . I teased her
along a minute and then in a serious, patient voice, my husband said,
"Where would we keep it and what would we feed it if you had a baby
elephant?" Of course, I hastily assured him I really did not want my
very own baby elephant but I appreciated his desire to please me.
How like our relationship with the Lord in prayer. Sometimes we
enter His throne-room with a prayer for something that at that moment
seems absolutely necessary for our happiness and well -being or that of
someone else. We do not consider how foolish or selfish or even wrong
the request is, and if the prayer is not granted we become a bit huffy
toward the Lord or whine and pout or wheedle.
In His wisdom and love He often indulges us, His children, and
gives us the "small" and inconsequential things we ask for just as
parents love to treat their children with harmless tokens of love. But
in the same wisdom and love He will refuse or withhold some things we
pray for because of the harmful or even disastrous results that would
occur if He granted our requests.
So, maybe it behooves us when we pray to wisely consider what we
are asking for ...don't ask for a baby elephant.