Isn’t it the pits when your prayer receives ‘no’ for its answer? After all, you’re so sincere and needy. Maybe it’s concern for someone else that brings you to Jesus in prayer. Would He deny us anything? Can’t imagine that. But He does. Though we know His will is best, yet we bristle and gripe at the seeming insensitivity.
Spending time in Luke 8, we discover a man in distress. He’s possessed with many evil maladies. Disturbed being an understatement. Rips off his clothes, breaks the chains that bind him while he roams around in caves and tombs. A desperate character.
As Jesus walks by, this troubled man shouts out– ‘…Jesus, Son of the Most High God’ (Luke 8: 28). You know what happens. Jesus casts out those legion demons into hillside pigs, who stampede down a steep bank into a lake, drowning all.
People come running to see what’s happened. Oh, no! Cash crops float away. Livelihoods destroyed. Fear engulfs the populace. Their world crumbles. So they tell Jesus and His cohorts to ‘get out of Dodge’ before they ‘tar and feather’ them!
But before they sail away, this newly restored man begs Jesus to allow him to tag along. Why wouldn’t he? After all, everyone who knows him probably will still make fun of him and always see him as he used to be. Plus, blaming him for the economic mess they now find themselves in. He’s trouble before and no better after. No wonder he wants to flee.
But Jesus says ‘no’. Of course, He wants this man to experience fullness of life (John 10:10). Yet, Jesus also knows that no better work can be done for God’s Kingdom than for this man to go back home, tough it out, stand his ground, sound of mind and body, and tell others about Jesus’ healing him, seeing his own family, friends and neighbors come to know the Healer and Savior for themselves!
When Jesus says ‘no’ to our prayers, know that following Him will not always be easy. We don’t invariably get our way, even though we accept that His ways are best. Whether I can see it or not. Like it or not. Or if it makes any sense to my ‘pea brain’ or anyone else’s.
Trust Jesus. Repeat that phrase as often as it takes. Trust…Jesus. Make yours a ‘no matter what’, ‘nevertheless’ faith! I’m not there yet. Not by a long-stretch. But He’s not done with me…or you. Hang on! Hold on! Trust…Jesus!
Lord, thank you that we can always trust you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.