Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33 ESV)
Food, drink, and clothing. In Scripture, that’s what Jesus tells us that we need. But what he asks is that we seek him first. God wants us to have a relationship with him as our top priority – above everything else, even our basic needs.
Often, however, distractions and responsibilities get in the way. We have children, jobs, and homes to care for that keep our days packed with little time for the Lord. And in a world that abounds in temptation with enticements at every turn, our focus shifts from what is above to what is around us – and we desire more. We convince ourselves that our wants are really needs, but are they? And when we don’t get what we want, we may become discouraged, depressed, or even disillusioned. Some even walk away from God.
As a mother, I think of the various requests my children have had through the years, many that would have brought happiness in the moment but not in the long run. Looking back on my own life, I realize that my unanswered prayers were quite often a blessing in disguise. My disappointments in not getting a desired object or outcome became opportunities to grow deeper in my relationship and trust in the Lord. Indeed, God’s plans were better than my own!
Even though the outcome is sometimes not what we want, God hears our prayers and understands exactly what we need. When you look back on your unanswered prayers, how do you see them now?
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19 ESV)