Can you think back on some prayers you’ve prayed that you’re glad God didn’t answer in the way you wanted at the time?
To be honest with you, I do not like unanswered prayers or prayers that seem to take forever to get answered. I mean who does, am I right?! God’s timetable is certainly not my timetable. To be real, there are times where it really seems like God just doesn’t care. But I go back to what the Bible says and my experience with God and His faithfulness. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” -2 Peter 3:8.
A lot of prayers in my life have centered on relationships- with family, friends and boys. I had a long-term relationship back in high school, and I remember praying that we would get married. When my heart was shattered and we broke up for the first time after people told me he cheated on me I was crushed. I thought God didn’t care. We got back together, and it was a relationship filled with mistrust. He started doing drugs and really mistreating me and I still prayed that things could work out.
A mentor told me I needed to break up with this guy, lots of other people told me to stay with him because he was cute and popular. Mrs. Steidel was the mentor’s name and she knew things about life that I wouldn’t realize until much later…
Mrs. Steidel knew something way wiser than I could have known back in high school, and she spoke it over me and the other people in our Bible study. She told us God had a plan and purpose over our lives. She told us that we were valuable and in order to know more of our value we needed to seek the One who made us. We shouldn’t let other people compromise the value of our lives. She told me God had a bigger plan for me than being with this guy. After this amazing mentor’s death my senior year of high school I finally took her advice and broke up with that guy.
Trusting in God’s plan is a lot of times lonely and doesn’t always make sense to others. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 because it says to trust in God’s way with all of our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding of things. When we honor and love God before all else, He will make our path straight. It’s sometimes the path that is more painful in the present and more fulfilling long term.
God wanted and needed to grow a lot in me before I was ready to be married. God needed to reshape in me the way I felt and thought about men. Because of my experience with this guy in high school and with other men in my life, I had a deep disrespect for men in general. I used guys for my own benefit. After I started following Jesus with my whole heart, He began to rebuke me on the way I was treating men. He was breaking off lies I believed about God, myself, and others. He was teaching me about respecting my body, heart and mind. I started changing the way I looked at relationships, I got my Masters in Marriage and Family therapy to learn even more and sought all the counseling and spiritual help I could find to help change my misconceptions about God, myself, and others. I’m SO grateful God did not answer those prayers I prayed in high school. He was leading me to a deeper hearts desire. God wants us to be more like Him and to know Him more. To have the Love of Jesus transform my heart and mind and know that He was the One I was searching for. And then God gave me way more than I could ask or imagine, because He’s the best dad and He cares about His kids. He gave me Caleb as my husband and is shaping and growing me more into the woman He wants me to be through this relationship. The relationship is not about me, but about honoring serving and respecting God and Caleb. I’m not sure what unanswered prayers are bogging you down today. I know there are several for me I can think of. But I do know that our God is faithful. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. There may be very specific reasons why God isn’t answering some of the prayers I’ve been praying, and although I don’t know those specific reasons, in the mean time I pray that it grows my trust, reliance and faithfulness to God and not to the answer. I pray the same for you today, friend.