Every day Lisa and David Holden asked God for a baby. She writes that they prayed “sometimes with bitter disappointment, sometimes with a confidence that seemed infallible, and sometimes with frustration and a hurt so deep it ached.” Lisa finally conceived, and 4-year-old Peter now brightens their lives.
Lisa and David had close friends who also wanted children. They too prayed fervently about their situation. Eventually they decided to adopt but were told they were too old. Both couples prayed in faith. One request was granted; the other was denied.
In Hebrews 11:11 we read, “by faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive.” But in contrast, when the apostle Paul prayed that his unidentified “thorn in the flesh” be removed from him, the Lord responded, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9), and the “thorn” remained. Even Christ Himself prayed to His heavenly Father that the cup of agony awaiting Him at Calvary might be taken from Him, but He added, “Nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
O Lord, whether or not our deepest longings and most desperate prayers are granted, our faith is in You. Help us to desire Your will above all else. Amen.
I prayed—the answer long deferred
Brought not the thing I sought;
He answered better than my plea,
Yes, better than my thought. —Anon.
When God’s answer is negative, His reason is affirmative.