When I was a boy, my family played a wishing game. My dad would ask me and my siblings if given one wish, what would it be? Every time my brother or one of my sisters thought of a better wish than mine, I would change my wish to match theirs. Then one day my dad unplugged all the fun by coming up with what we determined to be the greatest wish ever. He said, "I wish that every wish that I wish would come true."
The unending wish! One wish that grants all other wishes! That would be the greatest wish of all!
Through the years, however, I have contemplated how tragic being granted such a wish could have been. For instance, my fifth grade teacher would have exploded right in front of the whole class! The school bully would have come upon a tragic end to teach all other bullies a lesson. I would have been a murderer . . . a rich, greedy, spoiled murderer.
No wonder James warned us, "You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions" (James 4:2-3). Somehow, without ever having met me, the Apostle James knew of the wickedness that lived in my heart.
*By Pastor Tim White of the First Baptist Church of Eula - Clyde, Texas. Story paraphrased and condensed.
There is something even better than being granted an unending wish, and it's given to every believer in Christ. It's called the "new birth" and it imparts to us the capacity to actually desire what God desires. To wish what He wishes, and to receive the answer to those wishes forever and ever.
In contrast to the wishes born of our sin nature, the new birth leads to constructive wishes born of the Spirit, and to desires of the heart that result in healthier relationships and happier more meaningful lives. Not an exploding teacher among them!
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (1 John 5:14).