Updated: Aug 23, 2021
There have been times in my life that I have been so upset that God didn't answer my prayers but as I have reflected and put some reasonable thoughts around the whole issue, I have concluded that God has always answered but sometimes I didn't like the answer and therefore decided that my prayers were not answered instead of accepting that there were answeres but not with a yes!
Many times my answers have been wait or the dreaded no! Now anyone who knows me, knows that wait and no do not sit well. I am a "get it done now" girl and no truly is not an answer I accept. But when I learned to rely on God and not my own power, wait and no became answers I had to accept.
As much as I think I know what is best, God knows the real truth, and sometimes what I have been asking for I wasn't strong enough to receive or the impact would be much greater if it transpired on God's time and not my timing, which is usually I wanted it yesterday.
I have to remember that when no is the answer the rationale behind it is for my good. No parent, or at least not in my circle, say no to their children to be mean. It is because they are attempting to keep their most prized possessions safe and not allow them to proceed forward in a fashion that could result in them being hurt or injured both physically and emotionally.
As I think back over the years and all the times my parents tried to give me guidance or direction and I decided that I knew better, these were the times that I ended up being hurt or injured and usually, it was emotionally. Physical harm hasn't played much of a role in my life but emotional harm has played a leading role.
I chatted with a dear friend about dealing with the hurts and how it takes being brutal honestly to indeed heal from your past. We equated it to the pulling back of layers of an onion and how God helps us to deal with each layer with gentleness and kindness but just like dealing with an onion, sometimes there are tears. It has always amazed me how water can bring healing, invigoration, and refreshment. A see-through substance that has no magnificent aroma, no breathtaking color or texture, or any amazing features can be so important to everyday life. When I cry it is a release that can bring healing, when I am tired and sore a shower can invigorate me and give me the energy I need to get moving, and there is nothing that can conquer thirst like a cold glass of water. Then there is baptism which is symbolic of dying to the flesh and living in faith and obedience to God. Whether it be by full immersion or just sprinkled on your head, once again water plays a significant role.
Numerous verses in the Bible speak to God answering no and as you read each one you become aware that no causes anguish at times. The answer wait requires us to be patient, to have hope and expectation of what He is going to do. There are also many examples of those who had to wait in the Bible. Look how long Abraham had to wait to have the son who would be the heir. He was promised it and he received it but he certainly had to wait. There are also many examples in the Bible where they didn't accept God's answers of no and wait and they took matters into their own hands and the outcome was never good.
I can personally attest to how things can turn out when you rebel against God's answers or plans. Thankfully, I can also attest to God's ability to forgive, to love unconditionally, and to restore life to some fashion of what he wanted for me all along. Take it from me, if the answer is no or wait accept it at face value and continue to have faith that even though we may not know why we are being denied or delayed, there are reasons and someday it will all be made clear. The old hymn "Teach Me Lord to Wait" sums it all up.
2 Corinthians 5:7 says "We live by faith and not by sight". Trusting in something you can't see is never easy but God's love can be felt and seen. Just as we can't see the wind but we certainly can feel it and witness its effects.
Matthew 6:25 reads "Therefore, I say to you, don't worry about your life, what you'll eat or what you'll drink, or about your body, what you'll wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothes?" Trusting God fully, not worrying because even the small things he will take care of and there will never be anything too big for God.
That being said, we have a role to play in ensuring that our lives are productive This is something that I have always known but have had to put into practice over the past year. I am learning to stop asking God to do things for me that I can do myself. A small example was my weight. I was so unhappy with it and until I buckled down and put in the work required of me, I would have never reached my goal. Me praying for a weight loss miracle while sitting on my ever-growing backside and eating everything in sight was nothing but foolishness. But as I put in the work and asked God to please help me to stay the course results began. Team effort!!
This onion of my life is being peeled away layer by layer and I have had to realize that now and wait are answers and are never given lightly or without good reason. I have learned that there is a role for me to play in what I am praying about and that sometimes to get the outcome I would like that God has work for me to do for it to be fulfilled. ,
This is a partnership that God and I have and although he is the Senior Partner and I have to follow direction and put the time and effort into its maintenance and success it is a partnership all the same. God has paid the full price for my salvation and my place in eternity, the least I can do is be his hands and feet as I travel this road of life.
Accepting no and wait has not been easy but I can tell you it once again pushed me to have faith and trust in the Lord. Even though the tough times, my Peace has stayed rock solid. I couldn't have stated those words in the past.