Back in the 1980’s, we lived in a small double on the south side of Indianapolis. It was a rental (actually owned by my mom!) and it was our first real home together after living in an apartment for a short while after we got married. It was pretty plain on the outside with red brick and white siding; the inside was even more plain. But I was so excited to fix it up and to give it my own personality! I painted, wall papered and spruced it up as best as I could!
Home decorating has always been one of my favorite things to do. It started back when I was in my teens. I loved changing my bedroom room around and redecorating it. I would pick a color and run with it! My first favorite color was orange! Everything was either orange because it came that way or I painted or dyed it! I even painted my TV orange! No kidding! Then I moved on to blue & green and of course I painted my TV, picture frames, etc. Basically if it could be painted, I did it! Next, I moved on to green and white. In the early 2000’s my favorites were hunter green, tan and white. Fast forward to today, my favorite decorating colors are deep red, black, gray and white! 😊
So anyway, back to our first home. I got it looking pretty much to my liking, considering what little budget we had and with what I had to work with. But, eventually I found myself spending a lot of time going through catalogs looking for more decorating ideas and wishing I could afford this or that. I would circle and ear-mark my favorite things and then stack up my “wish list” catalogs in a nice pile. The closest thing to it today would probably be surfing online and “Pinterest.” 😊
Around this same time, I found myself daydreaming and wishing things were different in my marriage. The honeymoon was over, so-to-speak, and things weren’t quite the way I had imagined. I found myself both wanting and wishing for nicer stuff and for things to be different in my marriage. I thought of it kind of like a “wishing well” in my heart.
According to Wikipedia, a wishing well is a old term from European folklore to describe wells where it was thought that wishes could be granted by the guardian or god of the well. After uttering a wish, you would drop a coin in the well and that wish would then be based upon how the coin would land at the bottom of the well. If the coin landed heads-up, the guardian of the well would grant the wish, but the wish of a tails-up coin would be ignored. It was thus potentially lucky to throw coins in the well, but it depended on how they landed.
What a silly folklore; all based on chance or luck, and some unknown guardian or god.
One day after a particularly unfulfilling period of time spent looking at catalogs, and daydreaming about how I wished things were, this verse came to mind:
“You have not because you ask not.”
I realized that my wishes and wants, as genuine and real as they were to me, were not going anywhere (but to the bottom of a well) because they were just that – wishes. I had not been praying and asking God about these things. I realized I’d been wishing for things when instead, I could have and should have be praying about them.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
So I began to pray and it was in my praying, I learned to shift my focus off of my material wants and off my daydreaming, and instead, changed my focus toward God. It was in my prayers and my growing relationship with Him that I found true happiness. I learned that happiness and contentment are not found in what you have, they’re found in Who you know. I learned that God wanted me to pray about everything, especially my wishes, because it was in my prayers that I began to know the heart of God.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
From all of this I learned that God is a good God and He uses anything and everything to draw us toward Him; material goods or lack thereof, our wishes, our problems, our daydreams, our past, our present, our talents and our treasures, etc.
So today, if you find yourself doing a lot of wishing and wanting, try praying instead. Wishing will get you no farther than the bottom of a well. Praying will eventually get you more than you could have ever imagined. 💭🙏🏻😊