There have been times I’ve fervently prayed for something. Prayers where I’ve asked for a peaceful outcome to a situation, or for something specific, such as whether or not I should attend this church or that one. I know I’ve definitely come to God with some pretty heavy requests. There have also been so many times that I’ve looked to God to give me something specific, and I would come to Him already with a desire in my heart of what I wanted the outcome to be.
There have also been many times when that desire didn’t come to fruition, or the request of my prayers wasn’t answered the way I was expecting. There have been times when I was waiting for God to practically yell, “YES” to answer my questions, and instead, I was met with silence or a totally different outcome than I had anticipated.
Sometimes, it takes a long time to accept those answers that God gives, especially when those answers don’t go the way we want them to.
Let me explain with a story I once heard:
There was a man who was stuck on the roof of his house during a hurricane because of rising flood waters. As he sat on his roof, he prayed that God would save him. Soon, a boat came by as the flood waters rose around his home, and the driver of the boat yelled at the man to get in. In response, the man said, “No. God will save me.” Begrudgingly, the boat sailed off.
So the man kept praying for God to come and save him.
A few hours later, as the waters rose even further, a helicopter dropped a rope from above, beckoning the man to safety, and still the man refused, insisting,”God will save me.”
That night, the man met God in heaven and the first thing he asked was, “Why didn’t you save me, God?”
And God replied, “What do you mean? I sent you a boat and a helicopter, what more could you want?”
I think from this story, the message is clear.
Sometimes God doesn’t give us what we specifically want. He gives us what we need.
Those prayers I found myself praying for years ago, and still today, my heart had been longing for one specific outcome. Usually the outcome was for a clear and audible “YES” or “NO” from somewhere, and most likely the outcome was one that I saw as being the best for myself and the perfect ending to whatever trouble I was facing at the time.
You can probably guess that I didn’t receive a nice audible “YES” or “NO” but rather certain events played out in my life which led me to the best decision possible. Even if the ending wasn’t what I had in mind to begin with.
The biggest part of prayer is Trust. Trust that God will give you the right solutions and answers, all in HIS timing.
Sometimes the answers to our prayers aren’t quite what we are expecting, but rather what we needed most in our lives. It just takes a little Trust in God to realize that in the end, He has the best plans for us, and all we have to do is trust Him with the outcome. Trust that God has our best interests in heart, and that He does indeed hear our prayers.
I laugh because there are still times that I will sit down in prayer and ask God to help me with one specific aspect of my life, when I know in reality, the best outcome will happen, in due time and place, and all in God’s timing, not my own. But I’ve learned to remember that God, in the end, has the final say, and His plans could only be so much greater than my own.
Pretty amazing to think that God has a plan that could far exceed our own expectations for our lives, right?