Friday, April 19, 2013

Page 109 of 365: When God Says No

When you don't get the answer you want, just continue to trust God.
By this time, the chosen bloggers who will cover the Palarong Pambansa have already packed their things en route to Dumaguete. I expressed my desire to cover the games by registering at the Google Docs link given to us. I eagerly awaited for the email, but nothing came. In a more frustrating manner, I lost my SIM card too, so I don;t know if I received an SMS. To cut the long story short, with the addition of the tension at another sports event, the Boston Marathon, the Lord answered my prayer of covering the games (and celebrating my birthday at Dumaguete) with a no.

I was moved by Alex Castro's recent post on CIFL. Like him, it was difficult to accept that I wouldn't be able to cover the Palaro in flesh. What more celebrating my birthday in an uncharted territory (I'm not saying I've had enough celebrating April 24 either in Laguna, in Palawan, or in Metro Manila). But in the end, God's answer may not be what I want, but what I need.

God answers all our prayers, but the answers may not be in the way you think. Like I mentioned above, it's possible that He will answer no to our prayers. But think about this: the Lord knows what's good for us better than we are. With time running out and no email surfacing, I began to feel that big no. Then I was moved when the pastor at a Friday service exhorted and called us to surrender our desires. Then it became clear, "Sorry, Ivan," says the Lord. "I want you to give up on your pursuit." Again, it's hard to accept it, but that's what God says. The reason became clear when the Boston bombings happened, "I want you to be safe so that you can be happy come your 25th birthday," says God. I don't know if a terrorist attack will rock Dumaguete, but I hope the Lord will take care of them.

Like I mentioned, God's answer is not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. That weekend, I was moved with what I heard. From the exhortation in the Friday service to the preaching in the Sunday service and even to what my friend demands me of my prayer before we eat. God is telling me something, but I need to get clearer Words from Him. About what? I will not tell it here because it's a very serious and sensitive one.

Maybe your faith and actions are in sync, yet you haven't received the answers to your prayers. God will answer all of them, but it may not be in the way you wanted. Even if it's a no, hold on to the Lord. What He will provide you can give you more pleasure than the thing you want. Just trust Him.

Read Matthew 7:7-11, 1 John 3:11-24, and Psalm 119:4-6.

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