As I listened to the phone ring, I was afraid to answer it. I was afraid to hear the words that I knew would change our life. I answered it and on the other end was my wife. She said, "We have to go right now to the children's hospital because the pediatrician has diagnosed our daughter with diabetes. She will have to take shots for the rest of her life and we will have to take a crash course on how to take care of child diabetes."
As I got ready and waited for my wife and daughter to pick me up for the class, I asked God—no, I begged God—to heal her before they arrived home, but His answer was "no." In fact, over the next year I asked God daily to heal her, and always the answer was "no."
We read in Psalm 102:1 that David the King of Israel said, "Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come to you." There are many other Psalms where David cried out to God to intervene in his life for all sorts of problems. We can see from 2 Samuel 12:16–19 that he pleaded with God for seven days to spare the life of his son. But God's answer was "no."
Are you struggling with the question of why God has not answered your prayers? After all, Christ told us in John 14:13, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." Is this scripture true? Part of the answer has to do with God's timing.
First, we must understand that God's timing is perfect. However, even time itself is different to God than it is to us, as stated in 2 Peter 3:8, "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
Another factor may be that there could be circumstances unknown to us—but known to God—as to why our prayers have not been answered. We must have faith that God has heard our prayers, and we must know that he will answer them when the time is right.
Additionally, we must understand that God the Father knows what is best for us—just as He knew on the night of His Son's betrayal, when Christ called out to Him, "saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:42). We see here that even though the answer was "no," Christ still desired the will of the Father over His own.
Paul also beseeched God three times for healing in 2 Corinthians 12:7–8, but God said "no." Notice why: "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (vv. 9–10).
Again, we must trust in God and know that He has our best interest at heart. He tells us in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
We must also understand that sometimes the answer is not "no"—it is "not now."
We have seen through Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul that it is clear that their trials made them stronger, just as my family's trials have made us stronger.
It has now been ten years [from the writing of this article] since my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, and at this time God has still not chosen to heal her. But He has given us the strength to endure this trial. And I have no doubt that He will answer our prayer when the time is perfect.