“O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.” Daniel 9:16-19
In today’s verses Daniel makes a point that sometimes gets missed in our prayer life, anytime God answers a prayer it is not because of anything we have done but only because of God’s great mercy. The hard fact is that we do not deserve to have any of our requests to God answered. He owes us nothing. We owe Him everything.
When we get disappointed or mad at God because He does not give us what we want we are missing the point. God knows what is best for us and just as important when it is best for us. Something I have heard a number of times over the years is appropriate in this discussion. God always answers our prayers. Sometime He says yes and sometime he says no but many time He says not yet. It is the not yet part that I have trouble with.
Why can’t I have it now? Now is when I really need it. Sometimes we are not yet equipped to handle what we want. Let me give one example from my life. I have always wanted children. I got married the first time when I was 27. It did not last but three years and no children came of it. Then five years later I remarried to my current and last wife. I immediately became a father of a six year old daughter. Two years later we had another daughter and then within three years a son.
When I look back, I see how I would have been a poor parent had God given me children even in my late twenties. But in my late thirties and early forties I was in a better place and was better able to handle children. God had me wait and the end result is three children I am proud to have and I managed not to mess them up too badly.
Had God given me children when I wanted them who know what would have happened. Yet His no in my twenties became a resounding yes later. I am sure if you look back on your own life you will find examples of God making you wait and then when He said yes it was better than you could have imagined.
What about when no is no? There are something’s I have asked for that I can imagine I will never be ready to handle. Money comes to mind. Not enough to get by but wealth, lots of money. I think a lot of us dream of being rich but we don’t think about how to handle wealth. The news is full of lottery winners and professional athletes who amass great wealth only to go bankrupt within a few years. We wonder how anyone can lose hundreds of millions of dollars. The answer is they just were not equipped to handle great wealth. I think that is true for most of us.
God only give us what we can handle when he give us more He will give us the ability to handle what He gives us. Rest assured none of the gifts we receive are deserved we get them any because of God’s grace and mercy.
Have a blessed day,