By Bob Stacy
When I was a boy I used to pray at the table, before going to bed, and when I wanted something like a new bike or a special toy at Christmas time. I listened intently when the preacher spoke about the way God always answers our prayers. And then my daddy became very ill and was taken to the hospital. I’ll never forget that night as this 10-year-old boy knelt beside his bed and cried and prayed over and over again, “God, bring my daddy home. Please bring my daddy home.” But Daddy didn’t come, and of course, it made me wonder why God hadn’t answered my prayer.
“Yes, No, or Maybe?”
No one could have doubted that my prayer for Daddy’s return home was sincere. No one can doubt that a mother’s prayer for her son’s safe return from war is sincere. No one can doubt that the parents’ prayer for the restoration of their child lying sick upon a hospital bed is sincere. Does it mean that some sincere prayers are not answered?
I’ve heard it said, “Sometimes God answers, ‘Yes,’ sometimes God answer, ‘No,’ and sometimes God answers ‘Not now.’” But that has never satisfied me. I simply believe that
God answers our prayers whether we comprehend the answer or not.
His Threads Are Not My Threads
A tapestry never looks as good from the back side as it does from the front side. And yet it takes all of those threads to make the beautiful picture we see. Could it be that each thread in the life of a Christian is sewn by God so that the finished product is beautiful and complete? I trust him to know the threads it will take to make the tapestry of my life the perfect product he alone can see. I await the day when I shall see that finished product in all its beauty.
Our prayers may be sincere. Our hearts may be pure. But only God knows how to answer our prayers so that the finished product is one before which we’ll stand in awe and proclaim, “How beautiful! If only I’d known, I would have never doubted his ways!”
Bob Stacy has served as preaching minister in a number of churches, as founder of Christ In Youth, and as a professor of Bible and ministry in three colleges. He and his wife Nell are presently serving the Spring Hill Church of Christ Middletown, Ohio.