When my husband and I first got married and moved into our little apartment in Oxford, Mississippi, I would have done anything to get a job as a staff accountant. I prayed constantly for a well-paying job that would have supported us as he worked on his PhD. Needless to say, that job didn’t come easily but a job scooping poop for the local animal shelter did.
My mind wandered this morning to how much simpler our life would be if I had that $45,000 a year job I had prayed for. Maybe we wouldn’t have the piles of student loans and I would have my C.P.A. license and an M.B.A.
Many times over the past several years I have asked why God did not answer my prayers.
Most likely, we would not be any better off if my prayers had been answered. My husband would not have had any of the experiences that led him to pursue a law degree. I would have never realized my calling for teaching. Our son would have spent his first two years of life in daycare. And, we probably would still have piles of student loans because expenses have a way of keeping up with income.
James 4:3 says “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
God has a perfect plan for each of us and with time he reveals that plan. Sometimes even our best intentioned prayers are asked wrongly. We ask for healing for the sick, when it is their time to pass. We ask for well-paying jobs, when God wants us to learn to rely on Him. We ask for passing grades, when God desires we choose another course of study.
If I have learned anything through my unanswered prayers, it is this: Unanswered prayers are God’s means of revealing His plan for us. We need only listen.