We talk sometimes about unanswered prayers. We ask God to do something and when He does it, we say He answered our prayer. If He does not, we say our payer was unanswered. But what if the answer was just “No?” Sometimes God says “no” because our prayers are selfish, sinful, or contrary to His will. Sometimes He is saying, “No, not yet; wait,” because the timing just isn’t right. But sometimes God says no for reasons we can’t understand, and I won’t lie. That is tough. I thought about a prayer that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed, “If it is possible, let this suffering pass from me. Yet, not My will, but Your will be done.” His prayer went unanswered. John Ortberg says, “This prayer was the most desperate prayer ever prayed from the purest heart with the strongest faith for deliverance from the most unjust suffering ever known, and all He got was silence. But from the unjust and unmerited suffering came the hope of the world that remade human history.” The next time God tells you, “No,” remember, He specializes in turning today’s no’s into tomorrow’s yeses. For me, I choose to trust the love of God, even when I don’t understand the hand of God, because I need His love even more than I need His answers.
– Dr. Tim Thompson