Dealing With God When the Answer is “No”

Usually if we ask God for something we generally think it must be the best thing for us. How often do you hear prayers that God would make us murderers or drug dealers? You don’t because that is a crazy prayer to pray. We would expect a no to those prayers! But what do you do when it sure seems to us like the very best answer would be a “yes” from God and we get a “no” instead? We normally pray for some pretty good things, right? We pray for loved ones, for health and healing, and for lost people. Those are prayers that seem like yes answer prayers.

When Missy and I went through a miscarriage in 2007 it seemed to be a devastating and resounding “No” to many prayers we had prayed together. We had prayed for a healthy child. We had prayed for a healthy pregnancy and to see it all come to an end was gut wrenching to say the least. If there was any prayer that should be a “yes” prayer wouldn’t it be a prayer for the innocent unborn? And yet the answer was no.

I don’t know how all of it works. I don’t believe God is hands off in this world but when you see pain and suffering it is hard to come to any other conclusion in some instances. I am beginning to think that maybe some of the things we ask God don’t come down to a yes or a no but that He allows things to take their natural course due to the condition of the world we live in that is broken and full of decay and sin. I mean, the way He wanted this world to be is is not the way it is today. He made this world as a place where there is peace and wholeness and love and goodness. Yet we made it into something else by our own choices. So that may explain part of it. But it still leaves little answer for the suffering of the innocent.

Things that help us deal with God:
What is helpful to me when I get a “no” from God is that Jesus also received that answer at times too. In the garden he prayed that the cup of wrath he was about to endure be removed from Him and God said “No.” So if Jesus, the one who you would always think would get a “yes” from God even got His no’s at times then why should we be any different? What is also comforting to me is that sometimes “no’s” turn into “not yet’s.” You pray and pray for something and the immediate response seems on face value to be a no but later on you see a much better answer come and you realize looking back that God was really saying “not yet.” Our miscarriage was one of those. We prayed and prayed for a healthy baby and looking back it seems God was saying “not yet” because within the 9 months Missy would have been pregnant with that child, Jonah was conceived. Jonah is the baby who would never have been had the first pregnancy been successful. I don’t know how all this works or don’t claim to have all the answers but it sure is good to see God take the tragic and make it a triumph.

These things help us say “yes” to God’s “no.” These things help us fully submit ourselves to His will even when His telescope vision seems blurry to our microscope eyes.

0 Responses to Dealing With God When the Answer is “No”

  1. Dan Smith says:

    Matt,
    Since God answers EVERY prayer (yes, no, later, more) I might be disappointed but never angry/frustrated. He listened and give his answer.

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