Well, it’s another Sunday morning. “Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” – Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV)
When I was young I grew up in a small southern Illinois community. There was a big open lot across the street from our house where many years before a grist mill and general store had once stood, and now the only thing that was left were some old stone steps. During the warm spring, summer, and fall days all the kids in the neighborhood would end up at this lot and play games on that open grassy lawn.
I remember picking sides for games like red rover or kick ball or many other team games. You would always pick you friend first, not necessarily the best player but your best friend. As soon as they were by your side your agenda would change, they now had their favorites, too, and between the two of you the next person would be talked about, and then they would be picked. The agenda would change again and again as more would be picked until the smallest or weakest or least popular person was left.
Being the last picked never made that person feel very good. As children we didn’t understand or care, we were more interested in our first pick or maybe the first two picks, the last person was really only just a body to be on the team, wanted or unwanted. What did this do for that child’s self esteem? How did that effect them as they grew older?
Maybe that person was you or me. Maybe they were the last always and grew comfortable in their “last” position and never thought they would climb above it. I often wonder if it wasn’t their prayer to rise above the last picked status. Mark 11:24 says this: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
So if we ask the Lord, and believe hard enough we will be lifted above our last place on the team, that’s what that says. Right? So we pray this with our hearts and we continue to pray on a regular basis the same prayer, but we continue to be the last picked. Does that mean God isn’t listening? Has God chosen to answer our prayer last? It could mean that we are looking for the wrong outcome of the prayer. We are looking for what we want not what God wants for us.
God answers all prayers, just not always like you wanted. See, the answer to this prayer might not be allowing you to be picked sooner, but learning that there is more to life than the position your chosen. Isaiah 65:24 says this: “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.”
See, in our Great God’s eyes, you we were already picked first. We were chosen first in the most important choosing. Our Lord was crucified, died and was buried, and rose again all because we were picked first. To me, being picked last just means they saved the best for last. We all have been set on this journey for a reason, we should embrace every step of this life walk we are on and know our great Lord thought it out ahead of us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us this: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Our prayers are always answered. You have to be able to accept the answer given. Our God gives us what he believes is best, and He knows what that would be better than all of us. Through the good times and through the bad times God answers our prayers, we have to be open enough to accept what He decided. Please always know that when you are upset about a thing and you haven’t seen God’s answer to your prayer, that God answers all prayers, you just need to open your eyes and look for it. Know this truth also, God truly loves each and every one of you and so do I.