Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. -Isaiah 30:18 (NRSV)
One of Garth Brooks' most popular recordings is a song titled Unanswered Prayers, a single that hit #1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs in 1991.
The context of the song is that a man runs into his high school sweetheart at a football game in their hometown. As he introduces her to his wife, he reminisces about that past relationship and how he had once prayed so fervently that this girl would be his significant other forever. He realizes that both of them have changed and then looks to his wife and realizes that God knew what he was doing all along.
How many of us have ever wondered why God doesn't answer some prayers? Much like the psalmist, we cry out to the Lord in times of distress. Waiting for God to help us or those we love is not easy. Waiting can be difficult, but patience is a virtue. If we trust in the Lord and his goodness, then waiting for God's answer and provision is a testament of faith.
Often blessings cannot be received unless we go through the trial of waiting. We must wait for the Lord to provide for our needs, healings, and hopes. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, "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."
We must pray for God's will to be done in our lives, and then be patient, have faith, and not give up hope! We must trust that God loves us and knows what is best for us. Though we may not realize it in the moment, some of God's greatest gifts are indeed unanswered prayers.
Prayer for Today
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side; bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to thy God to order and provide; in every change he faithful will remain. Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend, through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Amen.