Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When the answer is "No"

The post I wanted to share was that a very lovely Salvadorena was coming to our house for Thanksgiving. I had grand words to share with you in the spirit of keeping this sweet fairytale going. 

But sometimes God has a different answer. Since I believe the Lord is the Author of Life, He is writing this story. So my optimistic post has changed. 

Ergh. It would have been a ridiculously happy post but as of now, the Lord has seen fit to not allow Lu's visa to be approved. 

We are really disappointed but probably the most bummed guy in all of North America happens to be my OS...

It's times like these where the Scripture about giving thanks in all things is put to the test. 
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The challenge is how do I say thanks to God when I don't like His answer? How do I say "yes Lord" when I have a son who had his heart set on the Almighty rubber-stamping his lovesick request with a big giant, "Sure Nate!" Of course, I realize there are bigger requests of a far more dire nature. Here are three families that are leaning on Jesus with each passing day. Ella's family. Lily's family. Adam's wife and daughter. If I were God, I would certainly have triaged the prayer for Lu to get a visa and thought I was too busy with more important things than to concern myself with something so small when compared with these folks.  

But I'm not God. He doesn't work like me and that incidentally is a good thing! ;)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

I know the Lord heard us praying for Lu to come to visit even if it appears His answer is no. He didn't ignore our request, He just gave it a different reply. My OS and I must rejoice that we serve a God who recognizes all prayers. I find comfort that Jesus doesn't tell me or my OS that He doesn't have time to listen to us. What an honor to trust and know with certainty that He hears my cries. Whether I'm in the tub, sitting at church or in my prayer closet, God inclines His ear to undeserving me. As a follower of Christ, I have constant access to the Shepherd who hears the cries of his sheep. 

Unless things change and the Lord intercedes in a big way, we will all resign ourselves to Lu not gracing our table this year. We'll make some pumpkin pie and I'll take some pictures and pretend that she ate a slice. Yeah, it won't be the same but we will still give thanks even if we all have a little tear in our eyes.