It’s a phrase that we say often, but sometimes we’re still surprised at the way God chooses to work.
Look at David, for instance. He desired a good thing – for a temple to be built in which to worship the Lord. However, we learned from Scripture that God said that while He would grant that desire it wouldn’t be through the way that David expected. We learn in 2 Chronicles 6:8b-9 that God said to David:
“Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. 9Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.”
In other words, David’s hearts desire would be granted – there would be a temple built. However, David wouldn’t be the one to build it. Instead his son would have that privilege.
In a similar way, God may grant a desire that we have in our hearts, but He may use another person in order to accomplish it. We may be praying for someone to come to repentance and faith, yet it’s another person who gets to the privilege of seeing that come to be. We may be praying for a ministry opportunity, and when the opportunity comes, someone else is given the privilege of leading it. We may be asking God for good things, that He graciously provides, but not in the way that we anticipated. He may open the doors, only His desire is that somebody else walks through them.
Which begs the question – are we still thankful when God provides these things even when we aren’t the ones that get to participate in them? Do we rejoice that He is working in the areas that we care about, even if we aren’t the ones He uses to accomplish His purposes? We should be. Because if what we truly care about is His name and His kingdom, it won’t matter who He uses; it will matter that His will is being done.
Through whatever means He chooses.
Now it’s your turn….Have you ever seen God use someone else to accomplish what you’ve been praying for? Why is it so hard to respond with gratitude even though our prayers have been answered?