With my tiny 8 year old (or there about) eyes squeezed shut and a hope that filled every cell of my little body, I said a prayer that sounded something like this: “Heavenly Father, I am learning about faith and I believe with every fiber of my being that you will answer this request: Please give me a room full of bubble gum. Please fill my bedroom with colorful, wonderful gum balls by morning. Ok? Thanks.”
The next morning and with great anticipation, I kept my eyes tightly closed and tentatively placed one foot on the ground and then the other, anticipating the need to move gum balls out of my way. I was greatly disappointed to feel carpet, but no delightful, round, quarter sized delights under my feet.
I remember wondering if this faith principal that I had diligently tried to enact was real?
Imagine my surprised when a few days later, my dad came into my room and handed me a pack of bubble gum. It was so random and was the first and only time that my dad did that.
Cavities & Diabetes- The Results of a Room Full of Bubble Gum
Adults can see the obvious: It’s not healthy for a child to eat a room full of bubblegum. Trips to the dentist and doctor would likely be the result, along with possible long-term ramifications. No wise parent would grant a request as unhealthy as asking for a room full of bubble gum. So, the question is, why would God?
Though my heart sunk, God’s answer to me that day was one of compassion, love and the ability to see things that my immature brain was incapable of and to help me avoid pitfalls like cavities and diabetes.
I Am Still Prone To Asking For a Room Full of Bubble Gum
It’s easy to judge my younger self as naive; lacking in scope and vision. However, sharp moments of self-awareness and reflection show that I am still prone to asking for a room full of bubble gum. In essence, my requests say things like: Wouldn’t this other direction be better, God? or Won’t you please just take this entire burden away and will you please be quick about it?
My prayers of this nature seem to be telling God what is best instead of trusting in His ability to see around corners that I have yet to encounter.
God Is Certainly Working In Our Lives
Simply because our requests for a room full of bubble gum are not granted, does not mean that God is not present in our lives. Remember that my own father brought me a pack of bubble gum? It wasn’t as I had hoped for, and yet with that answer, I am aware that God does love me. My hopes and desires to matter to Him.
Learning To Trust God
It’s alright that my younger self experimented with faith in a way that had some room to grow, just like it’s alright when I get it wrong sometimes today. Like we learn in 12-steps, we are practicing and have yet to arrive. Progress, not perfection is the goal.
The more that we come to know the God of our understanding, the more that we learn to trust things like: there is purpose in pain and the concept of “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,” as we learn in the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Neihbur. We learn to trust that God has our very best interests at heart and that we learn things through trials that we would not learn in any other way. With this view, pain can become sacred and who God fashions us to be becomes holy.
We can learn to genuinely say, and mean, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”
When our vision improves in these ways, we come to see that, “God really is working in our lives,” and that we can trust His answer. Sometimes He does say no because whether or not we realize it, we are figuratively asking for a room full of bubble gum.