The other day I heard two woman chatting and one woman was clearly in love with her life. She said to her friend, "I have everything I ever wanted! What did I do to deserve such a wonderful life?"
Her friend patted her hand and said, "You're living a life of faith, dear. Of course God would bless such a wonderful and faithful person!"
I left before I punched that woman in the face or threw up on her. Or both.
Okay, well, crying would have been on the plate too.
See, I hear this all the time. "I prayed for your healing and God listened!"
"You are such a faithful person! Of course you have a nice house and life! God only blesses the faithful!"
"I have a wonderful new house, my husband/myself was promoted at work and the kids are straight A little darlings! We are so blessed!"
Here's the thing: if your baby is premature, you are still blessed. If you prayed for something and the opposite happened, God still heard your prayer. If you just lost your job, your spouse, and your kids are the kind who don't make straight A's, you are still blessed.
See, when I hear "you got just what you wanted because you are a faithful person!" it reminds me that I didn't get my heart's desire and makes me feel like a crappy, horrible person who didn't pray right or do God's will. It's an insult to people who pray and sacrifice and offer up in hopes of something happening and having God gently say "no" to their request. Plus, it makes us sounds like needy, whining little children who tug at our Father's robes pleading, "I promise to love and feed him and walk him every single day for the rest of my life and never ever EVER ask for another thing EVER if you let me keep the puppy!"
If you really think that having the perfect faith is a recipe for a Pinterest-perfect life, you're only fooling yourself. Now, of course, you should pray and offer up and praise God and all that jazz. Just remember that God will answer your prayer but it might not be in the way you wanted... because, even though it doesn't seem like it, God can see the big picture.