It has been some years since I asked the Lord for some piece of information/something to help when we pray for one thing and what ends up happening is not what we asked for but sometimes its the exact opposite. The "feeling" after such experiences is like getting punched really hard in the gut or kicked between the legs. At such times it is very difficult to do what we know we must do which is this:
1I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
and more recently we have discussed this:
1 Cor 13:13
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
After years of waiting the Lord has provided an example from the Word of how this was dealt with successfully. Here it is:
2 Sam 12
1The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
11“This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”
13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
15After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth b on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”
19David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
In this particular case the adverse event had to do with sin but it does not have to. There are plenty of instances that have nothing to do with sin where we may ask for one thing and the immediate or apparent result is the opposite. In David's case it was the life of one of his son's, admittedly a big deal. How did David deal with it? We see it above.
We are given a grace period to deal with that feeling of getting punched in the gut but then we have to be responsible, or should we say response-able, and respond the way we should. Its not going to be easy but we were never told it would be easy. We need to do the simple things that we know we should do with patience, persistence and faith. Continue to do the right things over and over and over and watch what happens :).
Glory to God
Grace and Peace