He is not a vending machine God

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). People often treat God like a vending machine. When you are at work and become hungry, you walk to a vending machine, insert the correct amount of money, and receive your snack in return. You did not think of that vending machine until you were hungry, though, did you? You could walk past it every day and never even notice it – until you are hungry. That is the way some people treat God as well. They do not pay Him any attention as they walk through life – past all the beauty of his creation, never even glancing at it.
But when they are hungry for something, they fall to their knees and pray fervently that He will accommodate their needs or desires. If they receive what they have asked, they will do exactly what we do after the vending machine gives up its tasty snacks; walk away and not give it another thought until we are hungry again. Now, let’s say you have walked to the machine, inserted the correct number of coins, and chosen your snack of choice. You watch excitedly as the circular “whatever-they-call-it” thing begins to turn, drawing your sweet tooth’s prize closer and closer to the end. All that needs to happen now is one more 8th of a turn, and your choice will drop freely to the catch basin. But then your excitement turns to horror as the machine stops whirring and your candy bar stops tantalizingly close to the end, but not far enough for it to fall. Panic ensues as you try and shake the heavy machine to dislodge the item.
It does not budge. The panic now turns to fury as you kick the machine, resisting the temptation to curse the owner for “stealing” your hard-earned cash. You walk away, kicking it again and telling everyone what a useless piece of junk that machine is. You even call the owner a cheat, and you swear you will never use it again. That is until you are hungry again and need its services once more. That is exactly how people treat God. He is ignored till He is needed and ignored even after the request is granted. But, let God, in His infinite wisdom, decide not to grant it at all or not precisely at that moment asked for, and the reaction ranges from disappointment to rage. Amid the fury, He is figuratively kicked and insulted to all who will listen. For what possible reason would we not be granted our request(s)? Is He powerless or merely “care-less”? What is the point of praying to a God who will not listen to us? Of course, the rage dissipates after a while, and before long, He is forgotten once more – until another need arises.

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