Wrong Request

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss (wrongly), that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

James 4:3

I was working at a retail store in my mid-30s and I felt like I was stuck in a dead-end job. I was doing well in my role, but had burned some bridges with those in leadership above me. My company was happy with the work I was doing, and although there were promises of promotion, there was no movement whatsoever. I would periodically meet with my store manager with whom I had a great relationship, but I was simply told to be patient and my time would come. I did not like these answers, so on my days off I searched for a new job. I did not get too much from these searches, but I did receive an email from a job search site that I had forgotten about.

My profile was on this site, and I received a private message from a recruiter who wanted me to interview at a company. She asked me how much money I was looking for, and I added $10K to my current salary. She told me to aim higher and informed me the job they were interviewing for was paying $20K – $25K higher than my current salary. My eyes got big, and I started to get really excited about this possible opportunity. I started to daydream about exotic vacations, new parts for my truck, and taking Rebekah to the finest restaurant in New York City. I began to pray for this job, and I started to focus all my efforts on obtaining it. I was granted an interview and I got so excited when the day finally came. I went over to my parents’ house after work to change into my suit before the interview, and my dad prayed with me before I left.

I arrived to the interview a little nervous but confident. I observed another visitor who looked sharp, and I learned she was there to interview for the same job. I thought this was weird, but we both laughed about it and wished each other good luck. The interview process started, and I was directed to go into one room while she went into another, and then we switched rooms. This went on for over two hours and afterwards, we were sent back to the original room where we first met. Human Resources came in and took the other interviewee, and I am not sure where she went as I never saw her again. The hiring manager came and got me, and he showed me around the warehouse and introduced me to all the staff I would be managing. He spoke highly of the company and described all the benefits they could offer me. I started to get excited and took it as a good sign as the tour lasted more than an hour. The manager sent me to the Human Resources director, and she was all smiles as she told me she would be contacting me real soon.

I exited the building and I was all ready to go to my retail employer and put in my two weeks notice. My excitement waned, however, as the days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months. The recruiter who contacted me right after the interview and advised me things went well was no longer returning my messages. My calls to the HR director went unreturned, and I kept calling just so they could tell me the words directly. Needless to say, I did not get the job, and I was so disappointed to be in the same situation with my current job I was in prior to this merry-go-round.

I prayed for that job out of my own desires, and as I look back about nine years later, I am thankful that God closed the door on the job I never got. I forgot the “minor” details of the job that would require me to work 50-60 hours a week, and the dead-end position I would be in there. I am grateful for where God has led me now, and I am grateful He did not answer yes to my prayer back then. The overwhelming disappointment now seems minor all these years later as I feel God has led me to the exact place He wants me to be. In my anxiousness to get out of my job I didn’t like, I only thought about the money I would make instead of looking at the souls God wanted me to reach where I was. I am grateful for not receiving what I asked for in my own lusts, and I am grateful for a God who always knows best.

What are you praying for today that is of your own desires? What are you asking God for that is not of God but is of the sinful desires of your own heart? What are you thankful for that God has said “no” to in your life? May we ponder eternity when we pray, and may we examine our motives when we pray to a God who knows best.

Stay in the Fight!

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