Last Saturday we were invited to an 80th birthday party here in our clubhouse . That meant that we could just walk down from our house; perhaps a five minute walk.
It had been raining most of the day and when it was getting close to the time we needed to leave, the rain was still coming down. I didn't really want to walk in the rain and even with an umbrella the humidity would totally flatten my hair.
So I prayed and asked the Lord to let the rain stop while we would be walking. No sooner had I 'thought' the prayer ... the heavens opened and it POURED.
I was somewhat startled at the immediate answer to my prayer, and puzzled at it being the opposite of what I had asked.
But five minutes later, I understood. The downpour stopped just as it was time for us to leave, and we walked all the way to the clubhouse remaining perfectly dry!
I smiled thinking how God in answer to my prayer just dumped the rest of the rain 'all at once' to make sure it was finished by the time I needed it to be.
Isn't it often like that ? We pray and it seems God gives us the opposite of what we asked for. But maybe, like with my request, it is the best way to answer our prayer.
I love the stories of people who were 'hindered' from getting to work on 911. Each one of them, if they were praying people, would have been asking the opposite of what God answered...but the 'delays' in their morning routines saved their lives.
Joseph, I'm sure, asked God to help him be a good son to his father. Instead, his brothers throw him into a pit, he is sold as a slave, then he is falsely accused and sent to prison - all far from his father's house. Yet God WAS answering his prayer. God had an elaborate plan for Joseph to save ,not only his father and family, but also many others.
Mary and Martha couldn't understand why Jesus did not come and heal Lazarus but instead, delayed until he was dead!
The miracle Jesus planned was far greater than the miracle they desired....but, for a time, it looked as though their prayer for 'life' was answered with 'death'.
I'm sure you can think of times in your life where your prayers seemed to be answered contrary to your requests. Looking back can you see God's plan being better than yours? Sometimes we won't see the reasons until eternity. We can, however, know that God hears our prayers and He sends the answers immediately ... we might just not recognize them right away.
How good is our Father... let us rest in our faith in Him, knowing that He does all things well.
Mat 6:8b ".... For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.