Last night I went to see the legendary Garth Brooks in concert. Wow! What a show. My favorite musician of all time is Bruce Springsteen (he knows something about being the BOSS!) mostly because of his love of music, his energy and his live performances. Garth Brooks is on the same level. He rocked the house!
There are a lot of ways I could have written this post. I could tell you my favorite Garth songs (The Dance, Callin Baton Rouge, Thunder Rolls, Friends in Low Places and on and on). That would take forever because pretty much all of his songs are my favorites.
I could write about how Garth changed country music. Or about the courage it took for him to take such a long break to focus on his family. But as I reflect on the amazing concert last night, I just keep coming back to one of Garth’s most simple songs. It is perhaps my actual favorite because of the theme.
The song I am talking about is Unanswered Prayers. Maybe you know it. Here is how the chorus goes:
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers
What a powerful song this is and hearing it still today makes me reflect on all of the things I have prayed for in my life and how thankful I am that many of those prayers went unanswered.
Here are a few prayers I am so thankful went unanswered:
- When I was a kid I used to pray all the time that my family would move back to our home outside of Philadelphia. I was the youngest when we moved, but I was always the one who wanted to move back. God had a different plan for me here in Texas and I am so thankful we never moved back, even though Philly will always be home.
- When I was in high school I really wanted to be a sports writer. And I wanted to study journalism at Temple University. I wanted this so bad I made it a goal and I worked really hard to accomplish it. At times I even prayed about it. Yet one day my small letter from Temple came and I didn’t get in. My life changed for the worse (or so I thought). I blamed a lot of people, especially God. Why would He take this away from me? But really He just had a different plan than I did. And guess what? He was right.
- The thing I have prayed for most though started as a dream I wrote down as a 12 year old boy. I wanted to marry the girl of my dreams. I can remember praying so hard for this. I wanted to be as happy as my parents were. I wanted someone to share my life with. For too so much time I prayed for this to happen with the wrong girls. I tried to force relationships that were not meant to be. I would ask God often, “why is this not working out? Am I not meant to find someone?” I finally stopped praying about finding a girl. My mom told me to let go and let God take over. Basically, stop asking and stop forcing it and whats meant to be will be. Talk about some great advice. Not too long after I met my wife, Ashley who IS the woman of my dreams. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that God didn’t answer my prayers about some of my past relationships. If he would have, I would have missed out on the ONE.
How many times did you want something in your life and it not work out? How many times did you ask God to step in and wonder why He didn’t answer? The truth is that He always answers. We just don’t always like what He has to say or maybe we just aren’t listening. If you don’t get what it is you think you want, remember that it is a part of a grander plan.
What are some prayers you are thankful didn’t get answered? I would love to hear from you about this in the comments section.
The next time you really want something and decide you want to ask God about it remember what Garth Brooks says is this great song: Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. Just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care.