I listened to a sermon last March by Tim Miller, the pastor at Sevier Heights Baptist Church, and he said something that really made me stop and think. He said “God may not give you the answer you want, but He will give you the grace you need.” I scribbled that in my journal and came back to it often throughout 2019. So often when we pray, we are desperately seeking an answer. An answer that WE want. Perhaps we are praying for healing of a loved one, praying that we get that job promotion, praying that our kids get selected for the basketball team, praying that our marriages will get better, praying that our sadness will go away, praying for more financial stability. The list can go on and on. We ask God for things with the belief that asking will get us what we want. But God is a good, good father and doesn’t always say yes to our every command and wish. Good parenting involves saying no sometimes.
Think about that time at Target when you saw that young mama tell her 3 year old “no” to purchasing a new toy. What reaction ensued? If you visit the Targets that I do then you would have seen that 3 year old hurl himself onto the floor, kicking, screaming, wailing, and having a major meltdown over the fact that his mama said no. She was supposed to love him. Why didn’t she say yes? Now, I may not literally throw a temper tantrum when God doesn’t give me the answer I want, but I definitely emotionally struggle with it. I have a little pity party where I internally kick and scream and get extremely frustrated. Do you? We think that we deserve what we are asking for and we think that God should give it to us. We think that since He loves us then He should indulge us in our heart’s desires. But sometimes He doesn’t.
The times when God doesn’t give us the answer we want, it is important to remember that He will give us the grace we need. We may not get that job promotion, but God can give us grace to endure the job we are currently in. He may not fix your husband’s downfalls, but He will give you the grace to endure and be compassionate. He may not let your kid get picked for the sports team, but He will give you the words to comfort your child. He may not heal your loved one of cancer, but He will give you the grace to endure the trial. He’s a good, good God.
The next time you find yourself praying for a yes from God or for a specific answer, also pray that God prepares your heart to not receive that answer. Pray for the grace you need. He will absolutely give you the grace to endure any situation, especially when He isn’t giving you the answer you want. His ways are always way better than our ways and He sees the bigger picture that we will never be able to see. All things are for His good and all His ways are perfect. I pray that the next time you find yourself in a season of not getting the answers that you want, that you will lean into God and His grace and His promises and find peace there.