Have you ever prayed and prayed for something that didn’t happen? Maybe you were praying for a raise? a promotion? or a “knight in shining armor?” Have you prayed for someone to get well or to get pregnant (or maybe not get pregnant!), and things didn’t work out the way you wanted? Disappointment is a very real part of life. Things don’t always happen the way that we think that they should. It may be because of the actions of others. It may be that natural events occurred, such as floods or tornadoes. We may not know why things happen as they do. Does it mean that God didn’t answer our prayers?
I think one of the hardest things in life is coming to the realization that God did answer your prayers. The answer was “no.” None of us like to be told “no.” We may be quick to thank God when the answer is “yes,” but how do you react when the answer is “no?” We know that Paul had this happen to him, for he said, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” (II Corinthians 12:7-8) There’s been a lot of speculation as to what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was, but it really doesn’t matter. Have you ever thought about the fact that he calls it a “thorn?” Thorns aren’t usually life threatening. If you’ve been stuck by a thorn, you’d probably call it an annoyance or a bother. As long as the thorn is there, you constantly are aware of it. Paul prayed multiple times for this “irritant” to go away, but in time he came to realize that this “thorn” kept him humble. It kept him relying on God. Maybe, God has answered your prayers with “no” for the same reason. But rest assured, He knows what is best for us.
God answers prayers with “yes,” “no,” and sometimes with “not now.” Let us always remember “and this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.” (I John 5:14) Thank you, Lord for the “answered prayers.” God Bless, Courtney