Be Careful What You Pray For

It’s been said, “Be careful what you pray for because God just might give it to you!” Or more accurately, if you pray for God to grant you a virtue, do you think He just snaps His fingers like a genie and boom, you have patience or wisdom? Hardly. If you pray for patience, God usually answers by giving you situations where you must practice patience! Because practice is how you master something, including virtues.

I experienced this firsthand last weekend. Well, it actually started a month ago when I made a decision that was neither good nor bad, but the situation had caught me off guard and my response ended up making things slightly complicated. Not bad, not wrong, just inconvenient. But I was so upset by not foreseeing it, that you’d think it was the end of the world. Needless to say, I was not happy that something so trivial could unbalance me like that. Life is full of hardships! If I let tiny hiccups drive me insane, then how am I supposed to handle important crises? So I prayed God would help me to handle small situations better so when the big stuff hit, I’d be ready.

Can you guess what happened next?

Last weekend my mom took my car in for regular maintenance. (She’s the best mom ever, volunteering to do it since I wasn’t feeling well.) After an hour she called me and said, “Are you sitting down?”
My car is getting old, so it wasn’t really a surprise when the mechanic said they found three major parts about to break. Okay, so the cost I budgeted for will go up by….? <jaw drop> However, I was quite proud of myself for not crying, lol. “Ok, I can rearrange some funds and put some things on hold. No big deal.”

Thirty minutes later, I hear a strange noise. I turn around and notice the cat in the hallway staring into the bathroom, her body language stiff. I get up and flick on the light switch and…water is streaming out of the vent in the ceiling! I run to the kitchen to grab a bowl to catch the water, and on the way back I notice water is also streaming out of the heating vent in the living room and the hallway light switch. The sound of more water is coming from the furnace closet, and lo and behold, water’s pouring through there too!

So now it’s my turn to call my mother and preface with, “Don’t freak out, but…”

Turns out the neighbors upstairs (who were moving in that very day) let the toilet run until it overflowed. Now, aside from the initial panic of “what the hell is happening?!” and “how do I make it stop?!”, I still did not break down or have an anxiety attack. I threw towels down, left a message with property management (because it was the weekend and no one was in the office), and then sat back and waited until the water petered out to drips and everything was just wet, but no longer flooding.

As I was cleaning up, I was struck with the memory of that prayer I’d been praying to be better able to handle real crises, not trivial ones my brain overreacted to. Well, God answered my prayer.


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