As a believer, prayer is a powerful weapon. We have the ability to bring our requests to the Father at any time and have the assurance that He will answer our prayers. Just as Matthew 7:7 tells us, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
It’s simple; God answers our prayers. Except, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that simple.
While scrolling through social media this week, I stumbled upon an interesting quote. Written through God’s perspective, it read,
Boy did those words punch me in the stomach.
The hard truth is that while God does answers our prayers, sometimes His answer is no. Even after we’ve begged Him to say yes, prayed from our calloused knees night after night, and cried out to Him in fervent desperation, sometimes the answer is still no.
Sometimes the healing you’ve been praying for doesn’t come. Sometimes the respite from difficult times isn’t delivered. Sometimes the door you’ve been pleading Him to open is shut. The bitter tears of rejection will tell you that His no means that He’s forsaken you, that He didn’t hear your cry.
But it is in these times that we must choose to trust Him rather than question Him—a choice that seems quite contradictory to our human nature. Indeed, at times His Will may seem entirely arbitrary and senseless; but as humans, we cannot begin to comprehend His plan for the troubles in our lives, so we must trust that what He is doing has a divine purpose.
It’s a difficult perspective, but perspective is everything when it comes to our trials. We can choose to view His no as punishment or as a sign that He doesn’t love us, or we can choose to trust that His no is all a part of His plan.
The door He shuts today might make sense in the future—or it might not—but He has a reason for His answer.
Perhaps this no means, “I love you, and I will provide for you in a different way.”
Perhaps this no means, “I love you, and I am making big changes in your life to help you grow.”
Perhaps this no means, “I love you, and this is what’s best right now.”
Whatever the case, God’s plan for us is good and He loves us. And when we lose ourselves in the anger and sorrow and doubt of the world as we are so prone to do, there is grace.
We’re not guaranteed an easy lot in life, and we’re certainly not immune to the pain and suffering of this Earth, but we do have the opportunity to choose how we respond.
Know that the missed opportunities, disappointments, and struggles in your life were assigned to you by the One who knows that you have the faith to rise up and move forward. When life doesn’t make sense, take comfort in the knowledge that God knows where this puzzle piece fits.
And when He says no, may our resounding reply, ringing louder than our fear, be:
“God, I trust you.”