Sometimes the best answer isn’t yes. If a two year old is told nothing but yes, what happens? I’ll leave that to your imagination and/or experience. So why do we so often want our Father to say nothing but yes? As children, when we wanted something our parents didn’t seem eager to let us have, what did they often say? Probably some version of we would understand when we were older. The underlying fact is that they knew best. If that was true of our parents, isn’t it vastly more true of God?
Which brings me back to the question of why we always want God to give us whatever we want. I’m guilty. I’ll admit it. In my short-sighted self reliance I often think that out of all the possibilities in a situation that I can cook up, there is only one that could possibly work, and could I have that now with a side of fries, please and thank you. There’s a verse for that. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” We are promised God will take care of us. If God can build the Earth, design the human heart, and bring a manuscript of the size and complexity of the Bible through all of the adversities of thousands of years, surely He can handle directing us through life.
One of my favorite lines in the movie God’s Not Dead is, “God gives us the answers we would ask for if we knew what He knows.” The thing is, God sees all of us, where we’ve been, and where we are going, so He knows the perfect way to get us there. My parents handed me money just before the register to pay for fast food so that I was ready to do it on my own. I didn’t like it. I was scared. I also didn’t want to start driving. I was terrified. But to function as an adult, my parents got me ready for what they knew I would need to do. God puts us in situations that allow us to grow and bridge the way to coming legs of our journeys.
I think there are actually three answers to prayer: yes, no, and wait. Yes is the easiest to accept. No and wait often seem the same. Even Daniel had to wait. In Daniel 10:12-13 we read, “Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia.”
God always hears us, immediately, even when we don’t see instant results. Sometimes the answer is delayed, but it will come. When it does it will be what is best for us. Some of the greatest blessings I have would have been impossible if God had not said no to some of the prayers I have prayed. It doesn’t mean I necessarily prayed for something bad; I prayed for something that wasn’t best. It will not be easy, but we can trust that God has the best, most perfect answers waiting for us.
May the Lord bless and keep you,
God’s Not Dead. Dir. Harold Cronk. Pure Flix Productions, 2014. Film.