Thank God for prayers unanswered prayers! Well, I thank God for prayers He did not answer according to what I wanted.
As a young couple, my wife and I went through a particularly challenging year, but God saw us through. We were grateful for all the things we were able to accomplish during the previous year and looked forward to greater accomplishments the following year. We made plans for the year including getting better jobs and seeking small business opportunities for my wife and it looked and sounded great as we discussed all the options.
I came back from work one evening to receive a bombshell. It wasn’t supposed to be shocking news, in fact it was supposed to be a joyful one. However, the circumstances and the obvious effect the news would have on our plans didn’t make it good for us. My wife blurted out, “I think I am pregnant’. My response was not the usual ‘wow’, praise God!’ It was a struggle to maintain a concerned posture. ‘Are you sure?’ I asked. We sat down and began assessing and re-assessing.
I went to God in prayer and told him I didn’t want the baby. I gave quite a number of ‘good’ reasons why we didn’t want a baby at that time. I even prayed with my wife and we told God that we had a choice in this matter and that since he has given us the freedom to make choices, we have decided that we did not want the baby. My wife kept doing the things she was doing, taking less precaution that she would ordinarily take as a pregnant woman. The more she worked hard, the more firmly the pregnancy established itself.
Not long after this, it dawned on us that God’s purpose for our lives would not be complete without this baby. We went back to God, repenting and accepting His gift to us. From that moment on, all our fears and worries disappeared. The challenges were there but God always had an open door ready.
As d-day approached, I began praying that God would make the delivery of the baby, the best we have ever experienced. Sometimes when we pray, we do not expect God to take our words literally but that was exactly what God did in this case. On the day of the delivery, my wife had no sign of labour except a mild discomfort which she shared with a friend who was visiting. They both agreed that since that day was her ante-natal clinic day, she should see her doctor. You can imagine her shock when the doctor examined her and told her that the baby was due in about 30 minutes! She was whisked off to the delivery room and in less than ten minutes, before the doctor could even prepare herself to lead the delivery team, the baby came!
What a miracle! Her friend who had been waiting at home was in shock as she received the news that her friend who had who left home a few minutes ago, had just delivered a baby girl.
I was in my office discussing with a visiting former colleague, when my cell phone rang. ‘Good news!’ Sounded the voice which I recognised as my wife’s friend. She had personally been expecting some news which I thought was why she was calling me. ‘Oh, you got it, right?’ Then I heard the remaining part of the message, ‘You have a baby girl!’ I was stunned. I didn’t even know whether to laugh or cry or do both. I looked at the person beside me as if I was in a trance, ‘I just got the news, my wife was just delivered of a baby girl’. I was reminded of Psalm 126:1 “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion; we were like them that dream (KJV). You know, sometimes when you receive a wonderful news unexpectedly, you just go dumb and it takes a while before the import sinks in. That was exactly how I felt that day.
Yes, I thank God for unanswered prayers. If He had answered my prayer, I would not have a lovely baby girl which is the cynosure of all eyes in my home at the moment. I would have been denied of that feeling of carrying that bundle of joy in my arms and watching the little hands try to curl around my finger. Today, that little bundle of joy has grown into a beautiful 17-year old that I am thankful for each and everyday.
God has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us. What I have learnt from this episode is that sometimes God takes us through a route which seems in complete opposite to our plans. If we surrender to His will, it will become clear to us later that no other way could have been better.