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It’s just before mealtime, the day after Halloween. The child asks, “Can I have some of my Halloween candy?” The parent says, “No, it’ll ruin your appetite. We have to eat our meal first.” The child wants the candy NOW! The idea of a ruined appetite doesn’t register. Anyway, isn’t consuming candy considered eating? There will likely be tears if not a temper tantrum. The child can’t understand how the parent can be so mean as to withhold something so sweet tasting and delicious as candy.
God, who wants people who are in relationship with Him to call Him Heavenly Father, has the same problem with us! Some of our requests we make of Him are turned down because He knows what is best and we do not, though we most certainly think we do!
Just as a parent is far wiser than the child, so God is infinitely wiser than we are. Sometimes, in hindsight, I see God’s wisdom in not answering my prayers the way I wanted them answered. Most of the time I don’t. It’s often, to be honest about it, mystifying.
Our family prayed earnestly for a long time for our young grandson to be healed of his severe heart condition. It seemed as though our prayers were being answered when the best pediatric heart surgeon in all of Mexico was able to do the surgery. Danny had the surgery but never recovered. I could list a host of other prayers that weren’t answered the way I wanted them to be answered, and I suspect you could too!
It’s often said that we should ask God for things with great faith. The truth is that it takes even greater faith to accept God’s “No” or “Wait” as His answer. What will we do in such situations? Will we express a spiritual version of a temper tantrum or stomp off, distancing ourselves from Him? Or will we stubbornly determine to still love God and seek to be His person?
A careful study of the Bible shows us that God doesn’t always go along with our requests. Such a careful study also shows us, however, that God goes along with us through whatever He has us go through!
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9