Many times when we go to God in prayer we fully expect that every time we ask Him for something, like a genie in a bottle He will make it happen. We present our needs, wants and desires in a laundry list fashion then sit and wait for the open door. In our minds the only appropriate answer to what we want is “Yes.” So how should we deal with it when the answer is “No” or “Not yet”? This is where I have found myself time and time again, wondering how to deal with it and where I should go from there.
I am probably a lot like you which means the only answer I expect to receive from a prayer is an affirmative one. It has taken many years and many trials for me to arrive to a place of understanding what it means when God the Father doesn’t grant my “wish.” First of all, He’s not our genie in a bottle. Let’s get that straight from the start. We are not rubbing a lantern hoping that a big-bellied guy with a gold, hoop earring pops out. Instead we have a Creator and Savior who has mapped out a plan for our lives. When we make petitions, they should be in line with the plans of the One who created us in the first place. This can be troubling at times when we want something that God doesn’t want for us. Because He is sovereign He’s knows what is good for us, or if something is not happening at a good time for us.
I have wanted to scream, cry and complain when I’ve gotten a “no” without realizing that He was protecting me all along. Ever so often the answer turned out to be a “not yet” which meant somewhere down the line the prayer was answered, the request received, but all in His faithful timing. The biggest take away is that God answers every, single prayer. The answer could be yes, it could be not yet, or it can be no. While I was praying the other day I was reminded of something I wanted so bad a while ago. I realized in present time how wrong that would have been for me and all I could say was, “Thank you God for loving me enough to tell me no.” He’s not being evil, or rude, He’s protecting you and preparing you for something far greater than what your thoughts could contrive. Trust Him and trust His gentle love, even when He says, “No.”