When God says “no”. What is our response?
What do we do when God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers?
Some would say we don’t have a response – when God speaks, we don’t get to have a response.
That sounds “deep” and lofty, but it’s not really true.
If we had no response option, we would be nothing more than robots. God does not want robots, He wants obedience children, right?
A while ago, I shared about my neighbor who had a Cancer diagnosis. It was a bad one. The news of it hurt to my core. I bawled and bawled. For weeks, I took her flowers to brighten her day. Each day, I watched the family come and go.
I hoped for the best.
But, in my spirit I knew that healing wasn’t how I should pray. This is a departure for me. Mostly, I pray for healing until a person’s last breath. This time was different. I felt the Holy Spirit leading me differently.
During this process, she told me she was at peace with going home to heaven. She missed her husband and wanted to be with Jesus. She said this so often, that after some time, so was I.
Well, 80 percent of me was at peace with it. That selfish 20 percent still wanted her to stay across the street – looking out for the neighborhood kids, waving to me from her mailbox, bringing her granddaughter over to play with my son and sharing life’s struggles from time to time. I wanted to keep her close…close to me and close to those beautiful grandchildren.
God took her home.
You can imagine how difficult it was to see the estate sale, the family moving her items from the home and, now the “For Sale” sign in front of her house.
As scripture admonishes, I made my “request known” because God said I could in His word. Clearly, in His sovereignty, God moved in a better direction. His way is always better – even if I can’t see how it is. God, in His unending, boundless wisdom is always working out for our God. Our limited minds cannot comprehend it and often our emotions are wounded by it, but He is always…right. As the old people say “He does all things well”.
Through tears, I type these words knowing He did not answer my prayer the way I wanted Him to answer it. I guess, it’s like my child when I decline his request and he simply cannot see any reason in my decision.
Trust is such a big part of the Christian walk. Selfish people can’t trust because all they see is what they want; not the wisdom in God’s plan. Childish people don’t trust because they can’t share the power of life with an invisible God. Everyone knows babies and sharing don’t mix.
I’m growing toward maturity in my Christian walk. This means what I want is not nearly (evenly closely) as important as God’s plan. His will trumps anything I could ever want or ask for.
Because I revere Him, I trust His decisions. Because I love Him, I humbly surrender my hopes, plans and expectations so His will is performed. Because I am indebted to Him for all He has done, I raise my feeble hands to worship [sometimes in faith], because He’s been too faithful for me to question Him.
I’ve learned that the proper response when God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers is simply…trust. That’s what an obedient child would do. I want to be an obedient, loving child to my Father.
So, I trust God. I trust Him to heal my disappointment. I trust that my friend is in the center of boundless joy, peace and no physical pain. The best part is that she is with Jesus, the greatest blessing of all.