A few weeks ago I was in my living room with some friends and we were all talking about the crazy things that have been going on in our lives lately. And without thinking, I blurted out and was like,
“Man.. Can you imagine if God answered every prayer we prayed? ….Do you know how many husbands I would have?!” *inserts face palm emoji*
Obviously kidding. I mean, kind of??
If God really did answer every one of my prayers, I would have married my fourth grade crush, Kyle. My sixth grade boyfriend, Christopher. My seventh grade first real relationship, unnamed. And some of the in-between from thirteen to today. Lol. Thank God for what didn’t happen amiright or amiright?
Which I said this as a total joke but really. What if God answered EVERY prayer we ever prayed? Every prayer that came from a selfish request. Every prayer that came out of emotion and desperation. Every prayer that was for something that seemed good at the moment. You know? Some of us would be in some deeeeeep trouble.
What about the prayers we prayed for things we really thought we needed? The prayers for the things we were so expectant for? What about the prayers that seemed right? That seemed good? That seemed necessary?
When we see our prayers answered, we get so giddy. Rightfully so, because God is a sovereign God and He is a GOOD God. We are so quick to thank Him for all the things He allowed to happen and we are so quick to throw up our hallelujah for the people he brought into our lives. We are real good at thanking Him for what He has done, but we are real blinded to all of the things He didn’t do.
I’ve said this many times, but honestly. More than any lesson I have learned, more than anything someone has taught me. More than anything — I have learned to thank God for what DIDN’T happen.
What do you mean? If God gave us everything we thought we needed, I guarantee we wouldn’t be where we are today. If God allowed the people we thought were good for us to stay in our lives for as long as we thought needed, I guarantee we wouldn’t be who we are today. If God gave us every job we asked for, I guarantee that we wouldn’t have had the connections he intended us to have today.
We have to understand that everything God withheld from us is just as important, if not more important, than the things He did give us. Because what He withheld from us made room for what He intended for us.
In our own humanity we don’t understand why things happen the way they do. We don’t understand why that person walked out of our lives, or why God had US walk out of their lives. We don’t understand why someone else got the promotion. We don’t understand why our big plan fell through. We don’t understand why we hurt the way we do sometimes.
In our own humanness, when something isn’t happening the way we really believe it’s suppose to happen we automatically grasp hold of the idea that something is wrong with us or we are doing something wrong. When the person we had feelings for walks out with no explantation, we automatically examine ourselves to try and figure out why. When the other person gets the job we were wanting, we automatically think we weren’t good enough. When nothing is happening how we anticipated, we think we missed something.
But what our human eyes cannot see is all of these things taking place was to clear up the spot for what God intended the entire time.
And it’s funny because so many us sit here today and we are so in awe of where God has taken us. We are so thankful for everything He’s done and all the things He’s completed. But we miss all of the things that didn’t happen.
When we really look back over our lives and begin to notice all the things He withheld, our praise get louder for the things He kept from us over the things He gave to us. Because all of these people, jobs, relationships, friendships that we believed were good for us — He had a different plan all along.
So really.. I don’t know about you but my life is a whole lot of,
Thank you God for allowing that job to fall through. Because it made space for the one you intended that I have now.
Thank you God for allowing me to walk out of that relationship. Because it made space for me to ready for the right one you intended in your timing.
Thank you God for allowing that friend to cut ties. Because it made space for me to have fruitful friendships and not draining ones.
Thank you God for allowing me to walk in the dark seasons longer than I wanted. Because it made space in my heart for you to teach me what was necessary for the next season.
It’s because of what DIDN’T happen that we could experience what DID happen.
It’s because of what DIDN’T happen that we could appreciate what DID happen.
It’s because of what DIDN’T happen that we could love what DID happen.
It’s because of what DIDN’T happen that we are who we are, today.
And only a God wise enough as Him would be so witty to have our lives play out like this. Because in the piles of confusion and ache, we can all look back and see a holy depiction of grace in each step.
Thanks God, for what didn’t happen.