Genie In The Lamp

Aladdin lamp

“Three men were trapped on a desert island. As the days slowly went by, they dreamed of what it would be like to be back at home with their friends and family, to be back at their jobs doing the things they loved. One day, one of the men found a lamp that contained a genie. He opened the bottle and the genie announced that he would grant each of them one wish.

One of the men said, ‘I want to be back in Seattle with my wife and kids.’ POOF–he was gone.  The second man immediately said, ‘I want to be back in Portland with my fiancé,’ and again in a flash he was gone. The third man was left all alone sitting on the sandy beach. He said, ‘Boy, it is really lonely without my friends. I sure wish they were back here with me again.’ And POOF” (

It is funny how short sighted we can be. We get focused on the present instead of the future. We get focused on wants instead of needs. We get caught up in what we don’t have instead of what we do. In an odd kind of way, sometimes we treat God as if He were some magical genie. We ask God for outlandish things and become disappointed when the delivery truck doesn’t pull up.

As I child, I remember asking God for a Lamborghini. Today I drive a 1991 Honda Accord. I asked God for a victory at some my soccer games. Many games ended in a loss. I asked God for money and other worldly things, most of which I never received. I didn’t know it at the time, but I didn’t need any of these things. In fact, some of what I asked for likely would have been bad for me in the long run.

The bottom line is, we don’t always know what is best for us, God does. Maybe the reason we didn’t get that job was because a robbery was going to take place there in the future. Maybe the reason important plans were changed or cancelled was because we would have been involved in a car accident on the way. Maybe the reason we didn’t get the wealth and possessions was because it would cause us to lose our focus on God. Maybe we don’t receive because we are asking with worldly and selfish motives (James 4:3-4).

God knows what is best for us. God can see the big picture; we don’t even know what will happen in the next few seconds. God will give us what we need, but not everything we want (Matthew 6:8). It’s important to remember that God is God, and we are not.

God is not a genie in a lamp, just waiting to fulfil our every wish and desire. In reality, He is much better than some genie. God loves us and cares for us. He even protects us from ourselves and our selfish desires. Let’s learn to be more trusting of God. He truly knows what is best for us. Therefore, let’s echo Jesus’ attitude when He prayed, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done,” (Matthew 6:10) and “not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

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