What are we to make of those who have it really easy? I’m referring to people for whom growing and running a business comes with little effort. He may be better with people, her dad gave her a head start, or his family has more connections that you. Maybe it has nothing to do with connections. Maybe they simply have more raw talent — better at spotting opportunities, better at self-promotion. Why is it so easy for them and so hard for me?
We all have to encounter God somewhere. By encounter I don’t mean something passive like watching a movie. I mean wrestle. There are so many places where this can happen — in our business, health, finances, marriage, children, children’s health, parents’ health, parents’ finances… The list goes on. We all have an Achilles heel where our lives just do not make sense. Take a look at some of the people you know. The yard looks perfect, the kids are well behaved, but health is a big issue in that house. The guy who has it all together at work? His kid just bit another child at school. The third one this month. The lady who pulled up in the Beamer, dressed to the nines? She hasn’t been able to keep a relationship together for more than 2 years at a time. We all have our areas where we are uncomfortable, and this is where we wrestle with God.
I know many of us have asked “Why?” during desperate moments. It may be a fleeting thought. “Why is this so hard for me? Other people seem to be doing well in their ventures. Why not me?” It is a oneway thought that takes only a second. It turns out that this is a form of prayer, and it is moments like these that start to unlock the riddles you face. I am not the first to say that hardship and pain is one way that God draws us closer to him. I don’t like it, but I had to get used to it. Keep asking why. This is a good thing. Let your questions grow longer.
For those of you who are not that familiar with prayer, let this next thought soak in for a few minutes: there isn’t really a way to get prayer wrong. Don’t feel the need to get all sanctimonious. God doesn’t need you to be in a choir robe. He does’t need high church. He doesn’t need your money. God can hear your prayers right where you are. You don’t even need to follow a formula. Just allow your questions to grow a little longer. After you think/ask “Why is this so hard?”, continue with “Is there something you want to show me?” or “Show me that you are really listening.” Again, there is nothing magical about these questions. The point is to take another step toward understanding your situation. He will answer, and will do so in a very personal way for you. It is pretty exciting stuff starting a conversation with the One who made you.
You may ask what it is like to hear from God. I feel that it is a very natural thing that anyone can do. Many people have written about hearing from God, and you can even find good audio resources, too. For me, I have never heard God audibly like one person speaking to another from across the room. Instead, most of my conversations with God happen internally in the form of impressions on my heart or thoughts that cross my mind. One example that have is that recently I have been given many good ideas for my writing projects right when I am in the middle of praying. I literally have to stop praying in mid-sentence, take a few notes and then continue praying.
For some the very word prayer evokes images of monks, pastors and men “of the cloth.” Somehow prayer is for them and not for you, that they are better at it or get better reception than you do. You don’t need to be a pastor to have a conversation with God. Now, I do believe that certain people have God’s ear more than I do. He unlocks certain mysteries of life for them maybe more than he does for me. I’m ok with this because it doesn’t mean that you and I don’t get access. Think of it as everyone getting into the concert, only some have VIP seating. Some get general admission, some get front row seats and some get tickets to the luxury box. Again, the good news here is that everyone gets in to the show. Prayer is for you, and it is nothing more than a conversation.