Was this the divine version of "If you want to cry, I'll give you something to cry about?"
No, it was more like "No pain, no gain" or "It hurts to be beautiful."
And here's how it hurt (for me, at least).
- When I pray for God to do mighty deeds, He lets me fail a few times so that I know He did it, not me.
- When I pray to be a peacemaker, God throws me between warring factions. After all, that's where peacemakers are needed.
- When I pray for God to get the glory, He lets the world see my mess. That way they understand it wasn't me that made something of myself.
- When I pray for faith, God disables all avenues of assistance so that I have to trust only Him. Only then do I see deliverance.
- When I pray for God to change my neighbor's heart, He begins working on mine.
- When I pray about the things that made me angry, God replaces that anger with sorrow and a desire to help and love those I once despised.
- When I pray to be able to forgive, God gives me something to forgive. Forgiving is not fun. Sometimes I need to do it again and again. And again. But with each time comes more love. And more love. And more love. And then the addendum...
- When I pray for greater love, God sends me more difficult people.
- When I pray for more gratitude, God sends me things that are more difficult to be grateful for. And I learned that the garment of praise really does lift the spirit of heaviness.
- When I pray more, I care less and less about the difficult path ahead and more and more about holding the Guide's gentle hand.