what you need before you ask him.”
Matthew 6:8 (NIV)
The dress stood out as it hung on the end of the rack: purple bows on the sleeves and around the neck, blue and green tulle – yards and yards of tulle – gathered at the waist and accented with silver roses. It was just the kind of dress that would appeal to a little girl wanting to “dress up” but not to her mother.
My granddaughter Ella stared at the dress as we walked by and smiled. She turned to me and said “Grandma, when I was little I wanted a dress like that so badly! I begged and begged my mom to get it for me.” “And did she, Ella?” I asked.
Ella smiled again. “No. I was so disappointed but I remember her hugging me and saying ‘No, Ella, and one day you will thank me.’” I laughed and replied “And what do you think now?” Ella grinned “She was right.”
I can totally relate that conversation to my relationship with God. Can you? I ask and ask for something, so sure that it is exactly what I need or want. And when it doesn’t work out – when God says no – I am extremely disappointed and, unfortunately, start to question whether or not God really knows what’s best for me.
We don’t like it when we don’t get what we want, do we? And when we can’t see the reason for the “no,” we forget what God has promised us in His Word: that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6); that His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).
Does God understand how important our request is? Does He even listen and care? Absolutely! But He who made the heavens and earth, who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end – He know what we need before we even ask. And He never ever makes a mistake.
Think about it: the boyfriend in high school that you prayed would be “the one” but he married someone else – and a year later you met the Godly young man who is now your husband; what about the job that you were certain was the right one and you prayed but didn’t get it, and now you are thankful because the business folded after one year.
Both prayers had “no” answers from God. But eventually the reasons for those answers became clear and resulted in thankfulness for a Father who knows what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8).
Ella was initially disappointed in her mother’s “no” to the dress she thought she needed; but she eventually completely understood her “one day you will thank me” reply.
We, too, can be disappointed when God does not always answer in the way we want. Just remember that He always knows what we need, even before we ask, and one day we will thank Him for His answers.
Father, I take this moment to thank you. To thank you for all those “no” answers to my prayers, when I thought I knew best what I needed in my life. You know what I need before I even ask. And you are faithful. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
Have you ever gotten mad at God because your prayer for something you were sure was right for you, was not answered like you wanted?
Did you stop to consider that God had a better plan in place for you?
Journal prayer requests that you have made for the last year that God said “no” to for your life.
How many of those requests are you now thankful that you received a “no” instead of a yes answer?
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in your life.
Matthew 6:8 (NIV) “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Matthew 7:9-10 (NIV) “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) “’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.’”
Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV) “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement From the War Room.)