Asking for elephants

In our Friday morning Bible study for female student leaders, we have now finished the series, “Believing God” by Beth Moore.  I really enjoyed it, and I know that I have been changed and stretched by the homework, the videos, and the discussion we’ve had about it.  She tells this story in one of the videos, and it’s been rolling around my brain for the last week.

When she was young (6 or 7 years old, I think), little Beth asked her aunt for an elephant for her birthday.  She had fabulous plans to ride this elephant to school.  It could not be just any elephant, but should be decorated appropriately and have a seat for Beth to sit in.

Understandably, her aunt did not give Beth an elephant for her birthday.  Her aunt was delighted by the request, though, and it has provided years of laughter since then for both of them.

Her point was that we may also ask for elephants.  We may ask God for things or to do things that He sovereignly chooses not to give us.  We don’t have a clue what it would entail if we were to receive what we are asking for- we don’t know that we would need a place to tie up our elephant at school, a constant food source, and a stable at home.

Even still, her suggestion was that He is delighted that we ask, just as her aunt was delighted by her request for an elephant.  When we ask with pure desires (not to kill our enemy by having the elephant stomp them or just to make the other kids jealous), He may protect us from ourselves but He is glad to hear us ask (see James 4 and Matthew 7:7-11).

I want to pray big prayers and risk asking for elephants.  The worst that can happen is that my Father looks at me, knows the limitation of my perspective, and says, “That’s not my best for you, my child.”   And besides- what if He wanted to give me one?

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3 thoughts on “Asking for elephants

  1. haha, me and manda asked for an elephant last night after you left for leadership meeting- we were trying to walk through the wall by the door into your bedroom like jesus did when he appeared to the disciples in the upper room.
    it didn’t work. i think we freaked your other roommates out just a little bit. i hit my head and my toes plenty of times though. you can prob see the scuff marks still.

  2. Asking for elephants reminds me of Eph 3:20 and Jer 33:3. I love that God says, “Your mind cannot even fathom what I can do and what I can answer,” so I am driven to pray with passion for people for whom I cannot see the answer. It can be hard, but I eagerly await to hear the great and mighty things He has to say.

    –js–

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