A wise man spoke of bargaining with God. At first, though intrigued, I wondered if this was ‘kosher’? Wasn’t sacrificing His firstborn enough? How could I fathom asking for more? And even if it is acceptable, what leverage could I possibly have?
Then I remembered renowned people who bargained with God. Like Hannah, who begged for a son, promising to dedicate him to God in return. Pondering this, I realized that I bargain with God all the time, I just wasn’t conscious of it. Who hasn’t, in a moment of desperation, cried out to God, “If You help me with ‘x’, I promise, I’ll do ‘y'”, or, “I’ll never do ‘z’ again?!”
It’s funny how things can be an intrinsic part of our nature, but when we step back and actually think about them, they seem quite strange. It’s like when we suddenly notice how words we use all the time sound really weird when we roll them over in our minds and mouths, i.e., “Spatula, spaatuula, spaaatuuulaaa…” 🙂
Once convinced that bargaining with God is legit, the question remained, what of value could I offer to the One who literally has EVERYTHING? Again, Hannah came to mind: she gave a most cherished part of herself: her first-born son, not to mention her one and only child.
So, there is something we have that God wants: US. Yes, He created us, but the choice to love Him, to give ourselves to Him, remains ours. He says to delight ourselves in Him and He will give us the desires of our heart. Here we see that God actually initiates bargaining with us! In exchange for giving Him what He wants – our hearts that delight in Him – He will give us what we want – the desire of our hearts. (I believe that these are actually one and the same, but that is for another conversation..).
In His usual paradoxical way, our Father works it out so that no matter what we give Him, He gives us back way more than we bargained for.
Now that is truly delightful.