Genevieve peeked around the marble pillar. She wasn’t supposed to be here. Well, at least not at this exact moment. The king was listening to his subjects’ petitions, and Genevieve was eavesdropping.
She knew from experience that the king usually gave one of three answers – either “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait” – to the supplications of those under his protection. Of course, everyone hoped to hear a “Yes”. When the king said “Yes,” you knew that he meant it, and you went on your way merrily.
Nobody really wanted to hear a “No” or a “Wait”. Nobody, including the man kneeling before the king just then.
As Genevieve watched, her eyes grew wide. The man stood and stomped his foot. His hands clenched.
Genevieve felt for the man. After all, what he had asked for seemed like a good thing.
Sadness crossed the king’s face. Rising from his throne, he reached out his hand.
The man refused to take it. “I came to you for help, and this is all you give me? You didn’t even answer my request!” He turned, stormed past the marble pillars and left the throne room.
Genevieve ducked back into the shadow of the pillar. Doesn’t that man realize that the king did answer him? It was just a different answer than he wanted. Doesn’t the king have his best interests in mind and know more about what is going on in his vast kingdom than this man?
Genevieve has a good perspective on things from her hiding place, doesn’t she? I know I’d like to stand in her shoes. But you know what? I’ve also been like the man in this story.
There have been times when I’ve come before the throne of grace, before the King of Kings, with requests for what I saw as deep-down good things. But God didn’t answer all of my prayers. That is, He didn’t answer them with a “Yes” (what I wanted) or with what I expected.
And sometimes that was really hard to take.
With the release of the box-office-surprise film War Room I’ve been contemplating prayer. What does it mean to have God answer our prayers?
Clearly, God does answer our prayers, even when He gives a different answer than we would like. If He isn’t worth trusting with a “Wait” or a “No”, He isn’t Almighty God, is He?
Well, that’s a start on my thoughts. I think little bits will be popping up throughout posts in the coming weeks. For now, I’ll leave you with these verses that are becoming precious to me. I hope they’ll encourage you as well.
“…[D]o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8