Sometimes no is an answer to our prayers.  When we are desperately in need of something to go our way, we pray that God will give us the answer we want.  Sometimes the answer that we want is not the answer that we need.  Sometimes no is an answer from God because it is part of his plan.  I saw this happen first-hand today.

My uncle went in for heart surgery.  He was having a problem with the valves in his heart.  These issues have diminished his ability to live a healthy life, so the decision was made to operate.  The procedure was scheduled over a month ago and was delayed because of a problem with the machine.  Today was the reschedule date for his operation.  The operation was expected to take several hours.  After the doctors got working on my uncle, they discovered that the body was rejecting the new parts.  This situation led to the removal of the components and the doctors returning my uncle to the same condition as before the operation.  Now it is just a matter of time before his heart fails completely.

Many of us prayed for my uncle on the days leading up to the operation.  Our prayers included healing for my uncle and restoration of his heart.  We prayed to God individually and collectively as groups.  What God told us today was no.  Sometimes no is an answer.  We may never know why we get told no, but believe me there is a reason.  God uses us and our life experiences to further his kingdom.  No matter how dire of a situation we face, God is always in control.  Sometimes we have to accept that what we want is not always best for us.  As believers in Christ, we know that we will be made a new when we pass on.  As it is written, we are all appointed a day to leave this earth.  None of us know when this day will come.

Sometimes no is an answer because God has a different plan.

I have heard many people question why God would allow bad things to happen.  Why would God let children die young and why do the faithful suffer?  I cannot tell you why God makes the decisions that he does.  What I can tell you is that he loves all of his creation.  He wants us to follow him.  Sometimes our faith is put to the test.  Other times our trials are used to show others of our Christ-like character.  You never know when one person can be led to Christ through the suffering of a believer.  It may seem like God is cruel and doesn't care.  We must remember that this life is temporary and our eternity is in Heaven.

I like to use the term keep your eyes on the prize.  It is easy to get caught up in the suffering here on earth.  We must look past what is temporary and focus on helping others reach an eternity in Heaven.  I know that my uncle will go to Heaven when the time comes.  I also know that God is using him while he is here on earth to lead others to Christ.  Let's turn the focus back on Christ instead of focusing on ourselves.  Sometimes no is an answer and for a good reason.

Isaiah 65:24 NASB It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.