God didn’t answer my prayers. Okay, I guess the appropriate way to write that would be God said no to my prayer. I really only prayed once, and no is an actual answer. (I forget that sometimes.)
It seemed like a perfectly fine prayer. I asked God to give someone a good seat for a long flight. Bumping someone to first class isn’t too hard for God, right? So that’s what I prayed.
Well, I heard from my friend, and she got a rotten a seat. And that’s gotten me thinking about all the no answers we get to our prayers. How many answers to the negative does it take before someone says no back to God?
I’ve got friends who are struggling with big stuff right now. One friend needs a new job. Another suffers with chronic pain. And several are walking through heart-wrenching loss and grief.
I pray for them and hope the best for them and want for their lives to be filled with all kinds of goodness, but I suppose if I had to pick one thing for all my friends it would not be that they’d get the best seat on the plane. It would be for them to know God in the moment when they get the worst seat imaginable.
Life offers us a billion+ reasons to doubt God’s goodness, His power, even His existence, but it also gives us billions of opportunities to trust Him, anyway. I’ll admit for a small second I wondered if my friend would doubt God because of my stupid prayer. I hated that thought. It seems stories of people who finally say enough and turn from God are not so hard to find. They prayed, and the job never came; someone they loved died, or they never received that special leading they expected. Perhaps the center seat next to a crying baby and smelly extrovert is just the final straw. A storm of unanswered prayers opens up the sky to the irrefutable evidence needed to deny God—to refuse him, to turn away.
Yet God remains despite those who choose to deny him. He remains, and He waits. The Almighty, full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger, filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. His love abounds, and we have not even come near to comprehending that love. The kind of love that turned God into a man who laid down his life for us. And now, God’s Spirit teaches us, reminds us, guides, and empowers. We are not alone, and our thousand unanswered prayers do not testify against Him. He is God, and who are we to tell him what he needs to do? Our job is to trust Him no, matter what.
And so, I pray for my friends to know HIM in their moments of question because He WILL meet them there. It’s not easy. I know that. Sometimes I think it feels impossible. Maybe if He weren’t who He is, it would be. But it is the one simple thing we can choose to do. Believe in His Love no matter the answer we get.
Your writings enrich my attitude and perspective on life. The stories are relatable, insightful and honest reflections of your journey. I am encouraged that other travelers struggle with questions which may not be answered promptly, or even answered at all. God has used you as a mentor and friend to lift my spirit, and to draw me closer to Him.
May God hear my prayers for you. May He continue to inspire you, (and bless your followers), and carry you through any valley you encounter on your odyssey through life!
Thank you, Ron. I love that you mentioned some questions may not be answered ever. That’s a hard truth to swallow, but perhaps that truth only lasts as long as our frail humanity. Thank you for your prayers, friend and for being a part of the odyssey! Blessings to peace to you!
This reminded me of a quote by Tim Keller: “ We can be sure our prayers are answered precisely in the way we would want them to be answered if we knew everything God knows”
Your blog post was great, sometimes He answers yes, sometimes no, often it’s wait.
Oh that would have been a good quote to include! Thank you for sharing it. And may we all know the difference between God’s yes, his now, and his wait! I could write a few blog posts on my mistaking a no for a yes because that’s what I so wanted to hear! Blessings and peace!