I was thinking back this morning on the last several years of my life and it made me think about prayer. You see, I went through a time when I actually got angry at God because I felt like He just did not want to bless me with ANYTHING I asked Him for and even doubted whether He answered my prayers at all. But I have learned over the last four years or so that God always, always, always answers our prayers. It is just that sometimes the answer is ‘no’.
God does not say no to us because He is some cosmic spoilsport and doesn’t want us to have any fun or enjoy our lives.
God says no because He sees the bigger picture.
I always love to see God as we see a loving parent, because He IS our Heavenly Father, after all. Any loving parent wants nothing but the best and nothing but happiness for their child. So what would make any 4 year old, for instance, happy? Candy! Candy for breakfast, candy for lunch, candy for dinner with maybe some ice cream thrown in there for dessert. What child wouldn’t LOVE that!? It would make them so happy!! And don’t we all want happiness for our child? BUT…we don’t allow them to eat only candy because we know it is not good for them. We know it will make them sick. We know it will rot the teeth out of their little heads. So we say NO. They don’t understand that. They only know what they want! They are unable to see the bad that comes with what they would love. But we see it.
When we say no to the never ending candy buffet it is not because we don’t love our child but because we DO!
Another example is a teenager who wants a car. I am going to date myself here but let’s say I go to my father who was always VERY giving with me and I say “Dad…I REALLY want a car! All my friends have cars and I really need a car to get around. I am old enough, I am responsible enough and I saw this car I just LOVE!! And it is cheap too!! Can you please buy me that Pinto!!!??” And imagine my father told me “I’m sorry but, no.” I might scream, claw my face and throw a fit yelling about how he doesn’t love me and doesn’t want me to have any fun and wants me to be a social outcast (none of you ever did that right??). But maybe my father, unbeknownst to me, said no to the Pinto because he was planning on surprising me with a brand new Camaro. And for the record no, that did not happen but I am sure I dreamed of that happening more than once as a teen!
Sometimes God says no to something we pray for because He has something better planned for us.
It may be that we think what we are asking for is the best thing in the world and maybe we are praying within God’s will. It could be a relationship with a certain person. The relationship may not be the issue but the person may be. We may love that person and think they are all we ever wanted but God may take that person out of our lives. We may pray over and over for God to restore the relationship but we keep getting a ‘no’. Then further down the road, we meet our spouse and they are so much more amazing than the person we prayed for. God knew that when we didn’t see the big picture. Or maybe it’s our dream job and we pray and pray for it but it doesn’t happen. Then we get a job that is even better!
Trusting God as our Heavenly Father takes faith.
It is difficult for us to let go and trust that He knows what is best for us. When we go through emotional distress we are focusing on the now, not the possibility of something amazing later. We have to learn to let go of the bumper of that Pinto for God to bless us with the Camaro.
God says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” He has awesome things planned for His children.
We just need to take Him at His Word.
God has since blessed me with more than I could have EVER asked for. The things I was asking Him for four years ago were not the best. He said no, and then proceeded to give me the desires of my heart when, deep down I didn’t even dare ask for anything that wonderful. And He will do the same for all His children if we just let him. I for one am so glad He says ‘no’.