Do We Want Deity To Be Our Personal Genie?


As a young boy I read the story of Aladdin’s Lamp. As you know Aladdin was a poor young man who came into possession of a lamp that when rubbed, produced a Genie who fulfilled his every wish. More recently some of you might remember a TV show I used to watch as a kid called “I Dream of Jeanie”, the story of a Jeanie who fulfilled the dreams of her master, Tony the astronaut.  These stories of magic Genies who fulfill our every want and desire are fun to think about. Unfortunately some of us confuse the make-believe role of a “Genie” with the role of a loving Heavenly Father.  Somehow in our mind some of us see Him as the maker or  one who is responsible for fulfilling all our dreams. When the fulfillment doesn’t come, we become disillusioned or come to believe that He doesn’t love us. After all if He did, he would fulfill our “sincere prayer” or wish. On occasion I hear people say that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers if we only ask. They then tell a story of a prayer that has been fulfilled for them. Without proper context the listener is left with the impression that all prayers are answered…except theirs! This must mean somehow that they are “unworthy” or “unloved” by the Father. After all, He answers everyone’s elses prayers.

I like the story of the little boy who lives next door to the little girl. As he kneels by his bed one night he prays that the next day will be sunny because he has his birthday party planned outside that day. The little girl next door has just planted a small garden in her yard and prays to Heavenly Father for rain so that her plants may be nourished and grow. One of the prayers will go unanswered.

We do have a loving Father who hears and does answer our prayers but not always on our time or in our way. If we want a “Genie” we need to read about Aladdin and his lamp, or watch Tony on TV. If we want a Father who looks after us, listens and blesses us according to His knowledge, then we can approach Him in solemn prayer and offer our thanks and desires.  He will bless us in ways that will stretch and mold our character.His goals are sometimes not our goals. He has the aerial view as opposed to our short-sightedness. Perhaps Garth Brooks captured it correctly when he sang:

“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers

Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs

That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers (Garth Brooks, Unanswered Prayers).

We should not be discouraged if some of our prayers don’t seem to be immediately answered. I know my children want and desire many things. How foolish I would be if I took the role of “Genie” in their lives instead of  the role of Father. The “genie” is meant to please, but the father’s role is to teach. May the Lord bless us in our righteous prayers and may we remember that our prayers do penetrate the Heavens. We have a Father who loves and listens to our concerns. Have patience, faith, and hope in Him. but most importantly, have trust in him who is knows each of us individually and knows what we need to become like Him.

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