Haggle

Published on Nov 13th, 2013 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Haggle

Two years ago my wife and I downsized the size of our car.  The kids were grown up and we thought we no longer needed a larger car.  We purchased an almost new Toyota Corolla.  It was a great car.  Good gas mileage.  Solid.  Drove nice… and really small.  Next thing you know the grand kids came, trips came, dinner out with other couples came and we regretted not having a larger car.  After receiving an advertisement in the mail stating that America needed cars like ours, my wife was hot on the trail of trading in our car for a larger model. After all, America needed our car!  Long story short, after 4 hours of haggling we were able to keep our same car payment and drive home with a little larger vehicle.  At the end of the deal I looked at the salesman and asked why we couldn’t do this 3 ½ hours ago?  His reply was that it was not done that way.

Today, as I came to God in prayer for our church, I was deeply moved for a spirit of revival and giving in the hearts of our people.  I found my heart crying out to God that our people would have a great vision of who he is. That our people would hunger for the Word of God and for fellowship with each other.  That they would recognize the great opportunities given to us this fall and winter to share the gospel with those who do not know him.  That our people would give in such a way that it changed the way that they lived their lives.  I found my heart was so moved that I was praying fervently and with great emotion.

When I was done praying, I began to think of the two experiences.  The purchase of a different car involved great haggling so that each party received what they thought was a fair deal.  It was not fun and even though I came away thinking I received an okay deal, I did not exactly feel like the dealer was a benevolent father who was bestowing upon me great grace.  When I was done praying I realized I was not haggling with God but was pleading with him to do a work that only he could do.  I walked away understanding my great dependence upon a Father who promises that he does not withhold any good thing from his children.  I walked away in peace knowing that, no matter what, I have received a deal from my Father that was far greater than I could have ever imagined.  I walked away from the dealer hoping that nothing bad would happen to this piece of metal that I just purchased (at least for as long as I pay on it) but I walked away from my Father looking forward to what he was going to do.

I then began to think of the many times in my life when prayer was more of a time of haggling than it was a time of pleading with my Father.  God, I have done this for you, I have given this, I will do this…if you will just do this.  Those times are really a sad commentary on what I believed my Father is really like.  He is not a haggler.  He is not a shrewd negotiator.  He is a giver of great grace and mercy.  I therefore approach his gracious throne and I bow before him as my God and my Father and I plead with him for his grace and mercy to be bestowed upon me and those around me.  My pleading is not because I must beg God in order for him to give but because of how desperately I recognize that I need what only he can give.

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