“Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11, N.K.J.V.)
It’s one thing for the Lord to ask you to sit back, do nothing, and let Him handle a problem. It’s quite another thing when you do all that but He doesn’t handle the problem the way you want. If you think that won’t put a strain on your fellowship with Him, you obviously haven’t lived it.
The core issue is that God isn’t always after the same result we are. We focus on the temporary, but He focuses on the lasting. We focus on the earthly, but He focuses on the eternal. We focus on life’s rewards, but He focuses on heavenly rewards. We take a short-range view, but He takes a long-range view. We are only concerned with how our situation affects us, but He is concerned with how it affects others as well.
Jesus said that if an earthly father knows how to give bread when a child asks for bread, and knows how to give fish when a child asks for fish, how much more will our heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:9-11). In light of these words, doesn’t it make sense that if God seems to be giving you stones when you’ve asked for bread and serpents when you’ve asked for fish, perhaps His bread and fish just look different from the bread and fish you were expecting?
Therefore, the next time you ask God for a specific request, but what He sends seems to be something very different than what you requested, go to Him in prayer again and say, “Lord, what you’ve sent here doesn’t look like the bread and fish I asked for, but I’m going to trust you that my bread and fish are in it somewhere. Please clear up my vision in the days to come so that I can see my request in what you’ve sent.”
You do this and what you’ll find is that you’ll begin to understand your situation from God’s perspective. Your objectives will start to merge with His and you’ll enter the process of figuring out His long-range goals in the situation, as opposed to everything being about your short-range goals for it. Will this be the immediate gratification you originally requested? I’d be less than honest if I said anything but no. However, I’d also be less than honest if I said anything but that my own walking with the Lord has taught me that He is rarely in the business of immediate gratification anyway.