As Christians, we are persuaded the Scriptures confirm God’s willingness to intervene and help us when we need it and to place His stamp of approval on our undertakings. The problem comes in when we are asking God for help and nothing seems to be happening. We ask ourselves, what’s up with this? Why isn’t God coming through for me?
Sometimes what we are asking God to do is simply not His will for us. In this case, we need to prayerfully acquiesce, recognizing that God knows what is best for us and has the final word. It is more often than not, very difficult to accept a “no” from God. We must have faith that we will see the reasoning behind this as we move through life and sense the deep comfort that only God can give us when the “no” has a deep emotional or lasting impact.
Sometimes we ask God for something we want him to do yet it is not His will for us right now. In other words a “no” today is a “yes” tomorrow. In this case, it seems that the logical reason for an “answer deferred” is God’s determination to build character, faith and patient while we wait and continue to pray. I know that many of my prayers were deferred for years. But when God answered my original petitions, the outcomes were much better than I ever could have imagined and often looped through unlikely and unexpected pathways.
Then there is a very common misstep we make at times: we ask God for something but never really give Him anything to work with. We give God nothing to bless! When Jesus fed five-thousand hungry followers, Andrew was the only one out of the bunch who brought Jesus something to work with. The rest of the group were giving Jesus the run down of the challenges of feeding this many people with so few resources. Andrew on the other hand, brought a young boy to Jesus with a few loaves of of bread and a couple of fishes! Andrew presented Jesus with something to bless no matter how small it seemed.
There is always something we can do when we are asking God to do something for us. If we ask God to bless our resources, we might further our education or enhance our skill-sets. We might even want to take a risk and launch a new initiative. If we are repairing or strengthening difficult relationships we can honesty evaluate what we have done to contribute to the tensions we are feeling. We can also seek advice from clinical professionals and spiritual counselors. If we are asking God for strength to overcome the past and change the way we do things in the future, set daily quite-time for the Scriptures, prayer and reflection to excavate the strength and guidance to make better decisions. I guess the thought here is, we should try to do something creative and smart to make things better while we pray for God’s blessing.
Joseph C. Hutchison, Rochester Hills, Michigan, 2020
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