Lord, which prayer do you grant when two are praying for opposite outcomes? The farmer who needs rain for his crops, or the bride who planned her perfect dream outdoor wedding and hopes for sunshine and cloudless skies?
To our limited understanding, that seems like a mutually exclusive proposition. But as God, You know everything and have infinitely more options than that. You could let it rain on the wedding, yet the rain cause it to be all the more special and memorable for it, and the couple ultimately glad of it.
You could allow the farmer’s crops to fail, leading to bankruptcy and having to sell the farm, ultimately resulting in his having special, precious time with a loved one who will end up not living much longer due to sudden illness. He will be glad and thank You for it in the long run.
Your Word instructs us to rejoice in everything. It’s not so hard to imagine doing that, “in theory”. If You don’t meet the perceived need one way, You meet it another way. But the actual accomplishment of faith and confidence as sturdy as that, is not easy to come by for most folks.
Some people have a simple, childlike faith, and we know that pleases you. Those people don’t do a lot of fretting and worrying. They may or may not be that knowledgeable of the scriptures, at least not in-depth, but they know the most important things without wavering. I know people who have that kind of faith. People who are analytical have a harder time because their intellect can sometimes get in the way. They go around their elbow to get from their pinky to their thumb. Give us that childlike faith, Lord?
Is the person in the line of fire in a drive-by shooting “safer” if they do have faith than the other guy who doesn’t have faith? Seems like both have a 50/50 chance of being hit or not hit. But from your perspective, and in your wisdom, You may allow the believer to take that bullet, sparing the lost one so that he can have time to get saved. After all, the believer will come to you, and you may use his death as a time that his loved ones experience for themselves that “peace that surpasses understanding”. which grows their faith.
Help us to remember this, Lord, the next time we don’t get the answer we hoped for.