Mollie and I were on vacation in the Great Smokey Mountains and we had just eaten a wonderful lunch that included a lot of onions and garlic. I needed some breath mints so I headed for the third floor of our hotel and located the snack machine. There on the bottom row was just what I needed, peppermint Lifesavers, eighty cents. The snack machine had a dollar bill changer so I pulled out a buck and carefully noted the correct number to push—I have been known to push the wrong buttons and end up with a little box of , or lip-balm. There was the number I needed right next to the price, G9.
Now you have to understand how my mind works, I store things that I really don’t want or need to store but I do it automatically and systematically. For me, the G stood for God and the 9 represented the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit. So, no problem. I put in the dollar, I heard the change clink in the tray and I pushed G9 and nothing happened. I pushed G9 again and pressed the coin return several times without any results. So, what did I do? I did what anyone else would have done; I put in another dollar. However, this time the malfunctioning mint machine (by now it had sound effects and was talking and laughing at me) not only denied me of my mints; it also kept my twenty cents change. I was mad at the machine so (After being shaken a little by this irate guest,) I was about to head for the lobby.
That’s when I noticed the little sign on the snack machine stating that the hotel management was not liable or at fault for any monies lost in the vending machines and that I would have to report it to “Joe from Kokomo!” Phooey! As I slowly walked back to my room in an garlic cloud, I pondered with a much higher intelligence than the menacing machine that the G must not have stood for God and the 9 had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. (I Think)
It was during that short walk however, that I learned a goodly and godly life lesson. That life lesson was that sometimes we treat God like I treated that vending machine.
1. We locate what we want from God by looking through the window of His Word.
2. We find a Scripture number verse to back us up (G9).
3. Then we put our prayer into the little prayer slot and press G9.
4. Next, we are unable to accept or explain the reasons why nothing happens and our G9 prayers aren’t answered.
5. We are mad at the management because our prayers weren’t answered but we failed to read the little sign, “Management is not responsible for unanswered prayer, and the problem is never with God.”
God is not a prayer “Vending” machine and there are no G9 prayers. God is Love and He is patiently waiting to answer our prayers, but not because of any buttons we push but because … The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16