If you're asking about the guy in the picture, it's Brad Renfro.
I'm not sure where you were in the 90s, but from where I was he was pretty popular and starred in movies like "The Client" and "The Cure". I used to watch all his movies and buy magazines like Tiger Beat just so I can put his picture in my wallet (very girlie, I know). He would have been my husband.
…if God granted ALL my prayers.
I would have probably been married to Brad (Leonardo DiCaprio was a close second, as was Eddie Furlong. It doesn't matter anyway; I thought of Brad first). Had God granted my 16-year old wish, I would be a widow by now; Brad died two years ago due to heroin overdose. So then I would be a widow somewhere in Hollywood. Having been depressed for the loss, perhaps I would’ve drowned myself in Krispy Kreme and Ben and Jerry's and gained 30 pounds.
I could go on and on about this, but you get the picture: If God just gave me what I wanted, I would probably be a miserable widow with no education, no self-discipline and thirty pounds heavier.
And then I chanced upon the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.
The couple had no child and were both well along in years. The angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and told him that Elizabeth was going to be with child. Trying to put myself in his shoes (or sandaled feet, for that matter), I would have probably said the same thing he did. “How can I be sure of this?” He was old! But that was the last thing he spoke, for God silenced him until he returned home and saw Elizabeth.
Wrinkled, gray-haired and yup, you guessed it --- pregnant.
The Bible says that Zechariah was “upright in the sight of God”. He was praying fervently for a child, but when the time came that God wanted to grant his prayer, he became doubtful.
I get that sometimes. We know that God is a faithful God, and yet we measure His faith by our own standards. We want us to be faithful to what WE want to happen, forgetting that He may have greater plans for us. In my case, I couldn’t be happier to not have been married to a deceased Hollywood actor.
It may sound ironic to thank God for not answering our prayers. But the prayers we have are out of our own motives, and we get frustrated when we try to put our life in our hands. It’s like telling Him, “This is what’s best for me, God.” But we don’t know what’s best for us. Only He does.
Your situation may be different (and less shallow than my high school desires). You may be praying for sickness or brokenness or pain to go away.
Remember that God has His own reasons for not granting it immediately, or even at all.
I still have a lot of unfulfilled wishes, frustrations and prayers unanswered. I wish for breakthroughs that still haven’t happened. But I know that God is at work even when it seems like He isn’t. When the time finally comes, I don’t want to be silenced. I want to be able to loan Elizabeth’s words and say:
“The Lord has done this for me.”
How about you? What unanswered prayers were you thankful for?