John Fogerty’s song from the 70’s starts out, “First thing I remember was asking Papa, “Why?” For there were many things I didn’t know. And Daddy always smiled, took me by the hand, saying, “Someday, you’ll understand.”
Fogerty’s longing for “Someday” continues throughout the song’s verses, but the chorus remains the same:
“Well, I’m here to tell you now, each and every mother’s son,
“You better learn it fast, you better learn it young
‘cause someday never comes.”
What’s your “Someday” that never came?
What is it you don’t understand no matter how hard you’ve tried?
Maybe you’ve prayed for physical healing, strongholds to be removed, addictions to be overcome, wayward children to return, babies to be conceived, or for a relationship to be resurrected or redeemed. You learned long ago that Jesus told His disciples, “Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll find. Knock and the door will be opened.” You’ve asked for the very same thing every day for years now and heard nothing but crickets.
In Luke 11, Jesus uses a story to teach us all a powerful lesson:
“Imagine what would happen if you were to go to one of your friends in the middle of the night, pound on his door, and shout, ‘Please! Do you have some food you can spare? A friend just arrived at my house unexpectedly and I have nothing to serve him.’ But your friend says, ‘Why are you bothering me? The door is locked and my family and I are all in bed. Do you expect me to get up and give you our food?’ I tell you—because of your shameless persistence, even though it’s the middle of the night, your friend will get up out of his bed and give you all that you need. So it is with your prayers. Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll discover. Knock on heaven’s door, and it will one day open for you. Every persistent person will receive what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.” (Luke 11:5-10, TPT)
Persistence in selfless prayers whittles away our own selfish wants until what is truly needed begins to take shape. Whether or not our circumstances change, prayer definitely changes us. “Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs.”
More often than not, God takes His time with us and proves His patience by allowing us to keep asking, seeking, and knocking until we learn some significant lessons in the process. I’ve learned that while God is working hard to change me, He’s just as passionate about changing the hearts of the other people in my life. He’s patiently teaching them their own lessons as well. My job is to remain patient in the asking while trusting Him with the results. “Everyone who knocks persistently will ONE DAY find an open door.”
So many times, we ask God “Why?” “Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5, NLT) There are so many things we just don’t understand. Yet, whenever we take the time to pay attention, we can picture Him smiling and hear Him saying, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” (John 13:7, NLT)
Whatever you are praying for, don’t give up. Fogerty was right – someday we WILL understand. However, make no mistake, with God “Someday” ALWAYS comes! “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” (Romans 12:12, CSB)
Dear Lord, forgive our impatience when Your answer is slow. Give us peace when Your answer is no. We believe in Your power and love, but help our unbelief. Give our hearts Your desires and fill us to the brim with Your Spirit. Let everything we ask for give You all the honor, praise, and glory You deserve. It’s not to us, O Lord, but to Your name!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!