Over the last two years I have worked to get back into shape. It's a mid-life crisis kind of thing. Being a tech geek, of course I use apps to keep track of everything from the food I eat to the miles I run. The other day as I was headed out for a run I turned on my app as usual. When I was through, I checked the app for feedback on my workout. I promptly found out how far I had gone and how many calories I had burned, but, much to my shock, according to the app I had burned hardly anything. I was really upset and annoyed, thinking the app was buggy; after all that work I had gotten very little benefit. Because I can't really read the screen on my phone without my glasses, another side effect of middle-age, I had to wait until I got back to my car to get a really clear look at the numbers: I had left my glasses in the driver's seat. As it turns out, I had set up the app wrong.
In some ways, this experience is a lot like many things in my life. Rarely do I see a complete picture of any situation. I am faced with a lot of confusion and uncertainty, like looking at my phone without my glasses on. We pray to God for answers, wondering why we get none. Luis Palau [briefly explain for people who Luis Palau is] suggests that we do, in fact, get answers, but that they may not be what we think of as answers.
The answer to a question may be no! God tells us that he loves us, and while we may think we should get what we want, sometimes we have no inkling of what's actually best for us, something God sees clearly.
The answer we receive may be "Not now!" Patience is a virtue I need more of. I hate waiting, but getting what I need at the time I need it is how God operates. If I can demand what I want, when I want from God, how am I supposed to learn that He is God and I am not? He is good and wants the best for us, but our best can't always come on our own preconceived timetable. God's in control: this is something we all need to know.
Another possible response to a request is yes, but not in the way you think. Hard times sometimes come, and they push us out of our comfort zone. God tells us He loves us too much to leave us the way we are, and answering our prayer might mean we can no longer stay the same.
Yes is always a possible answer; our God is a gracious God. But when I do get what I want or need do I see it as answered prayer? The hard part for me is to see the picture as God sees it; all good things are gracious gifts from Him.