I wanted something.
I’m not going to tell you what it was, but I wanted it a lot. You know… deep down in my bones, really wanted it. What I wanted was a good thing. It would have been a huge blessing to me. It wasn’t frivolous or selfish, but it was big enough that I needed God to do it. I wanted it. So I started asking God for it.
With child-like faith, as a kid asks dad for something, I asked. I didn’t just give it to the Lord in prayer a couple of times. No. I prayed for this thing every day for four months. For 120 days I looked to my heavenly father and asked. At times I felt a huge amount of confidence that what I wanted would happen. God would come through. I was praying with faith. I was expecting an answer. I was thanking God in advance for what he would do. I was excited.
Then one morning during my prayer time, I felt God say “Give this desire to me.”
I knew exactly what he was saying. He wanted me to stop praying for it – to place it fully, finally, in his hands, and trust him.
I wrestled to let go. I had been holding on for months. Passionate, determined, faith-filled prayer had been my daily course of action. Finally my wrestling gave way to surrender. I solemnly gave it to God with one last whispered prayer. “Please – say – yes.”
A few days later I found out that what I wanted to happen, could no longer happen.
It was over.
What I wanted was gone.
God had said no.
Despondent is the best way to describe how I felt for the next week or so. I didn’t understand at all. Why didn’t God say yes? It was a good desire that I had.
God has said yes to me many times. He has been better to me than I could ever deserve. But this one still stung.
Maybe you’ve been there.
When you don’t get what you want, here’s 3 things to remember:
1. What God did do, trumps what he didn’t do.
Whenever a prayer seems to go unanswered, it looks like God said no, or things don’t work out the way you desire, remember that it doesn’t define how God feels about you. If you want to know how God feels about you, look at what he did do – look at the cross. At the cross he gave you a huge YES forever. Everything else in this life is just a shadow.
2. Sometimes God wants to do a deeper thing.
You wanted God to do something for you, but maybe in this moment God wants to do something in you. In the long run who you are is more important than what you get.
3. Trust is a safe place to turn.
Trust is your ally in the battle of faith. Trust is where to turn when you don’t know what’s happening. Trust is quiet. Trust is solid. Trust doesn’t need an answer. Trust will keep you from quitting when you feel discouraged. If God said no, there must be a good reason. Whether I know that reason or not, isn’t important. Keeping in step with God, is.
When you don’t get what you want, keep trusting, keep loving, keep moving forward. Good things are in store.