Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Not Yets


We pray. We wait.

We repeat.

We pray. We wait.

We repeat...

What's on your waiting list of prayers? I call this my list of Not Yets. 

The waiting period of prayer is labor, and this labor builds strength. We may think that we would prefer to just have our answers without the strength-training, but God loves us too much to give us whatever we want. 

It is possible for an adult to be just as spoiled as a toddler.

Parents know what happens when they let toddlers have their way. It's chaos and crabbiness. We are grown up toddlers if we are only happy when things are going our way. Waiting and praying through some very uncomfortable situations is "wait training" at its best. We wait. We grow. We learn how to patiently endure, and then the next waiting period doesn't seem as hard.

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Psalm 27:14)

The list of Not Yets is often filled with people and circumstances that matter to us most. We are not taking these prayer requests lightly, and have often soaked a pillow with tears while praying...and waiting. We know that God answers prayer in the manner and timing that He deems best, and we realize that can't rush Him. It's just challenging to wait for answers to things that weigh so heavily on our hearts. 

God is building our strength along with good courage while we pray and wait. We may imagine that it would be easier to just put in a prayer request by 10 a.m. and have the answer by 4 p.m., but having our answers on demand would train us to expect life to be easy. Life is not an endless series of easy paths. Extended times of prayer are also extended times spent with God. We want a stronger relationship with God, so we need to learn to accept that sometimes that depth is developed in the dark and needy times.

What about those times when the answer seems to be "no"? It may actually be a different "yes." When I was praying for my husband Norman to be healed from cancer, I really meant this: "Dear Lord, please heal my Norman and spare his life." God's answer was to heal my Norman by taking him where there is no cancer. A very different yes.

God hears and answers prayer repeatedly. We don't know how or when our particular answer will come, but we have not been forgotten. Until we have an answer, the best position is keep our sins confessed, keep our attitudes right, and trust God. He knows what He is doing, as well as when He will do it and why.

Keep praying. He hears you. And for loving reasons that only He knows, the answer right now is not yet. Pray on.

"Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me." (Psalm 27:7)



The Not Yets

We pray. We wait. We repeat. We pray. We wait. We repeat... What's on your waiting list of prayers? I call this my ...