When God’s Answer Isn’t What You Expected

Sharon JaynesIdentity in Christ, Living Free, Living Fully, Prayer, Praying Wives Club 21 Comments

When I was eight years old, my prized possession was a collie dog named, what else, Lassie. Lassie was my shadow. She ran alongside me as I pedaled around the neighborhood on my pink-glittered banana bike. She slept outside the door of my one-room playhouse when my best friend, Wanda, and I “camped out.”  She protected me from dangerous strangers, such as the paperboy, the mailman, and the trash collector.

When the veterinarian told us that Lassie had an incurable skin disease and needed to be put to sleep, I was devastated. And even though she was my dog, my dad was almost as heartbroken as I was. He could not bring himself to purposely end Lassie’s life, so he drove her out to an old farmhouse about fifteen miles from town for a sweet older man to take care of her.

I never did get the particulars. Did he pay the man? Was he a nice man? Did he have children? All I knew was that Dad had done the best he could.

Months later, Dad went by to check in on the old girl. “I’m sorry, Mr. Edwards,” the old farmer said. “Lassie ran away a few days after you left her here. We’ve never seen her since.”

Dad never told me Lassie had run away. But each time he drove into Tarboro, the town near where he had left her, he panned the landscape, looking for a lost dog that answered to the name of Lassie. Miraculously, one day he spotted a collie wandering around the street.

Dad jumped out of the car, pulled his pipe out of his mouth, and called out, “Lassie, here girl. Come here, girl.” As he clapped his hands together, the dog bounded toward my dad, almost knocking him off his feet. A flurry of fur, tail wagging, and sloppy dog kisses smothered Dad as the two were reunited. What a surprise we had that evening when Lassie came cruising home in the gray Buick.

“Lassie! Lassie!” I cried.

I had never seen such a welcome sight. As a matter of fact, her skin disease was completely gone, and her coat was thicker and more beautiful than ever. All was well with the world.

Two weeks later, my older brother was out wrestling with Lassie in the yard. Dazed and ashen faced, he stumbled through the door.

“Mom, we’ve got a big problem,” he said. “You know Lassie, well…well…she’s not a lassie at all. She’s a laddie. This dog is a boy!”

We ran outside and rolled Lassie (Laddie) over on her (his) back and discovered the truth. She was a he, and this was not our dog!

Needless to say, we put ads in the Tarboro and Rocky Mount papers, but no one ever claimed Laddie. He seemed perfectly content at our home, so there he stayed.

Have you ever wanted something so badly—hunted, searched, and maybe even prayed—then when you found it, you realized that maybe it wasn’t exactly what you wanted, but it was definitely what you needed?

All through the Bible we see God answering prayer in unexpected ways. The Israelite slaves in Egypt prayed for deliverance and God sent them a stuttering old man named Moses. Samuel prayed for a new king and God directed him to Jesse’s house to anoint a teenage boy named David. The Hebrew nation prayed for a Savior and God answered them with a baby’s cry in a Bethlehem stable.

Isaiah wrote about God, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (55:9). One reason God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts is because He knows what we need and we only think we know what we need.

God’s answers to our prayers are better in every way than our own. He knows what is around every corner, over every hill, and down in every valley. When we trust Him, He takes our breath away with surprises we would have never thought to dream on our own.

His plans are impeccable and sometimes incomprehensible. He is unpredictable, unprecedented, and undeniably powerful…even in the little things…even for little girls.

I wanted my dog back. Laddie needed a family. As usual, God’s answer to my prayer had an unexpected twist, but it was perfect in every way.

Today, as you are lifting up your requests to God, can you trust Him to answer your prayers in His own timing and in His own way? If so, you might experience some unexpected twists and turns, but perfect in every way.

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that Your ways are so much higher than my ways. Today, I trust You to fulfill my deepest longings in Your perfect time and in Your perfect way.  Please keep me from interfering with Your plans and trying to make my requests come to fruition on my own. I am waiting for Your surprises. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

How has God answered one of your prayers in unexpected ways? Leave a comment and let’s encourage one another. 

Wives have been given the privilege of serving as a mighty prayer warrior for their husband. Yet sometimes, even when poised with the best of intentions, the task can feel overwhelming. We wonder: What should I pray? How should I pray? What prayers does he need right now?

Praying for Husband Book

In Praying for Your Husband from Head to ToeI map out sixteen landmarks to help you consistently and effectively cover your husband in prayer. From his mind and the thoughts he thinks all the way down to his feet and the path he takes, I teach you how to pray for your husband in ways that are powerful, practical and life-changing.

“I have never seen a more practical book on how to pray for your husband.”

—Gary Chapman, PhD, author of The Five Love Languages




© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 21

  1. God answered my prayer by granting me a new home. My landlord died so I wanted to move. After left the burned the house house down.

  2. Dear Sharon,
    I am 37 years old single Christian.
    I met someone last year in august and he told me all the words I ever wanted to hear, I knew and believed the search is over , finally God has blessed me with someone I thanked God for him and even told my best friend and our pastors wife. He was all I ever wanted, he looked and acted serious and quiet.
    Long story short come January during a work conference I met him with a hound woman he had flew from a neighboring country. I was broken, i lost 7 kgs in less than a week, i thought of killing myself, I was mad , I was angry and even noticed I need to work on my anger. I asked myself so many questions. Untill last week I learnt that back home he is dating and sleeps around with other women, he is not faithful at all. I am still healing and praying for God to lead me to my kingdom husband, I want God to do it not me, I do not want to initiate anything.

    I gathered courage and told our pastors wife and she prayed for me.

    God bless you for this message.

    1. I was married for 12 years to a man that cheated on me all the time. We had 3 daughters. Then he told me what he’d been doing and he loved another woman (although he still loved me). I was devistated. We were separated for 2 1/2 years while he tried to make up his mind. I think the only reason I wanted him was because I wanted to keep my marriage vow and not separate our children. He did finally divorce. A year later I met a wonderful man. We married, my children loved him immediately, he loved them immediately. God gave me a man I could never imagined. God knows what He’s doing!
      Hang in there and don’t beat yourself. Iam very gullible as you are and believe just about everything I hear or read. We need to learn to read between the lines. Love you,

  3. Long story short… my husband had not done our taxes in a couple of years, part Covid, part needed paperwork. I confess I was frustrated those years, but kept quiet. Recently the funds for my daughter’s tuition had run out and I was stressing~big time for about 4 months. Really didn’t want to take out a loan, but we did. We finally had the necessary paperwork to complete our taxes and the amount was significant enough to cover other college expenses and …….. (bear with me please) I went to check how much we owed to be accurate in my testimony just now. I’m in tears because the balance of this semester is covered!!!! He knows what you need. He knows what I need!!! Unexpected answers in unexpected ways!!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY for the great things He has done, is doing and will do!!!

  4. Sharon,
    Absolutely loved this! It’s amazing the way God comes through for us in ways
    we never imagined! What a beautiful blessing to get another dog just like the one you loved so much!

  5. Good morning, I thank God so much for you, and the wisdom our Father has given you. I have a Women’s Social Prayer group that I host on Monday nights, and right now we are in our 4th week of going through ” Enough” . It has been such a blessing already. Nothing is more POWERFUL then the Word of God. To have content that helps bring it to life for real in your own individual lives,with clarity and simplicity. The stories you tell gives such a bold understanding. We are a group of women who have truly been blessed. I pray God will continue to anointed you, and cover you and your family while you are serving him with your beautiful heart.
    With so much Agape,
    Kierra 💗😊💗

  6. Thanks Sharyn for your continued blessings in the email. I love to read your stories and your discoveries, so beautiful, you write. It is certainly a talent from God to be shared and you are. Thanks!
    My counselor during this time, took her dog to work and he greeted me the second visit to her office, Lincoln, is his name, what a beautiful gift. I sat and cried and hugged Lincoln. He was such a blessing to me that day and every week I get to see him now. I am hurting but healing, trying to pause, and let God.

  7. I’d love to share how God worked in a surprising way when I was first saved.
    I had very little “religious” background, when my husband and I were saved we both entered this new life with a simple trust in this wonderful God we had met.
    One day I was walking to the store to get something for dinner. We had very little money and I had scrounged around the house for some change to purchase some ground beef, but had only come up with a paltry sum. As I walked the distance to the store I prayed, “God, you can help me find some change on the ground, you said you would provide all our needs, and I don’t have anything for dinner.”
    Well, I got to the store and had found nothing. I started looking through the packages of meat that I knew would not be packaged small enough to be the price I could pay! The owner of the store came over (a man I didn’t know, by the way) and asked what I was looking for. I was actually quite embarrassed but told him I was looking for a small package of meat as I only had a little bit of money. He didn’t even hesitate, he grabbed a giant “family pack” of ground beef from the cooler and said, “Here, this one is on sale today.”
    What?!! I was flabbergasted! I was so thankful to the owner, but how I marveled at my awesome God! What a lesson! He does hear our prayers, He does care, but we are so foolish to think we can lay out a plan for Him to work. How much more exciting to wait for the surprise that a limitless, creative, loving, and kind Savior WANTS to provide.
    I hope you are encouraged to trust the Savior more today from my story.

  8. From being mercilessly bullied in high school and told that marriage and children was not going to happen for me to being married for 24 years to an absolutely wonderful man and having 2 beautiful sons my prayers were definitely answered..

  9. I love your story Sharon. Thank you for sharing. As for me, I thank GOD for helping me understand whatever He places in front of me. I have been praying for something to GOD for so long that until now I am still in “waiting list” but I thank GOD for every time I am about to lose hope in my waiting – He will send me little surprises to ease my waiting, “the birth pangs and groanings” in my waiting then I will just see myself again with “renewed hope”. Then one early morning during one of my meditation, I realized maybe GOD is just testing me what do I love more, do I love Him more or the thing that I have been asking from Him. And I think GOD saw that It is Him that I LOVE more, more than what I am asking for that is why though He is not “yet” answering my prayer, I have this unexplainable peace in my heart while in my waiting. A peace that turned into confidence that I have chosen to still wait that no matter how long, I will not give-up on my prayers. I will still keep on waiting for GOD to answer my prayer (Psalm 27:13-14; Psalm 62:5-6) for GOD’s love never fails but is always new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-26) and that His love offers more than what we can ask for, surpassing all things, far and beyond what we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

  10. I had prayed a year and a half to see my daughter. It was a very painful time in my life. And out of the blue on Memorial Day the phone rang and it was her. I never expected it to be answered that way. Of course there’s more to the story that made it so miraculous. Thank you Jesus.

  11. I am a divorced single mother of two. I am left broken after judge ruled for me to have no contact with my children for 30 days and be given back to their dad who just assaulted our daughter. Definitely not what I was expecting and feel like the system has failed our children. Even though I am completely torn and broken I am trying to listen to Him and know His plans are for good.

  12. Thanks be to Almighty God for His goodness and faithfulness upon us all.
    I thank you Ms Sharon for this story you sent to me in my email and to the children of God’s testimonies.Thanks to you all for the uplifting words of encouragement to me this morning.May the good Lord richly bless you all in Jesus Mighty name Amen.
    I now believe that my God is awesome in everything am passing through. He is the God of unexpected answers in unexpected ways.My turns to receive my longtime problems answered too in Jesus’ name Amen.
    I need Ms Sharon to pray along with me to have patience in my waiting on God for favor,grace and mercy in answering all my requests for longtime problems be resolved in Jesus Mighty name.🙏
    You’re God sent and anointed woman of God. Thanks for everything.

  13. All my teenage and young adult life I wanted a horse to ride and to care for. We moved to a home with some acreage so if the time came I could have a horse. God was so gentle and he reasoned with me. My dream was forgotten for many years. Then a couple moved in next door, it was a rental. We got talking over the fence, she had 3 horses and not enough time for them all. God reminded me of my dream and through tears she agreed that I could ride one of her horses. That began a beautiful friendship and I had my horse kind of, and for a time. This lasted two and half years, until my friend and her husband found a house to by. This taught me that God even the dreams we forget, he’s so loving!

  14. Oh how He always meets our needs! Sometimes a song we need at just the right time-a text of encouragement and then there are those perhaps more take our breath away moment when he provides in ways we never dreamed…recently we had a major financial need. After much prayer mingled with worry to the point of feeling I’ll our daughter sat me down and played the episode of the Chosen where Jesus turned the water to wine (quite fitting because the need was related to one of our other children’s upcoming wedding). She said we need to remember all the times Jesus has met our needs and I feel you need to watch this. A peace came over me and about 11pm that evening the need was met-I could never in my wildest dreams thought this need would have been taken care of when woke up that morning but God knows just what we need and His timing is just perfect!


  15. I love how God worked in your father and in your life. My husband of 30 yrs left our marriage to be with a friend of mine. She is 17 yrs younger, tall blonde and beautiful, and got a $6 million dollar settlement from her divorce. I don’t know how to do this. Should I pray for God to restore my marriage, continue to pray for a husband who is no longer mine? He wants a divorce and half of everything we own, including my business. My heart is shattered. The life I knew is gone…replaced with fear and betrayal. I am praying for God’s direction and wisdom through this but I am not hearing his voice. Thank you for your ministry. I truly hope “Prayer an Change a Man’s Heart”. I’m counting on it.

  16. I am a very gullible person and believe just about everyone and everything+. I try to be nice if I’m not sure about someone. My husband died 3 1/2 years ago. I have been scammed 2 times with renewing my subscribrion from “McAffee” security. It was not the real McAfee. I did something like that again. And now in the past 3 months I gave away all my money to a conman who told me I had won 12.5 million dollars but I needed to pay the taxes on it before I could receive it. I’m sure there was greed there on my part, but I also thought of all the good I could do with it. Luckily I have social security to help me ,but it is not enough. My daughters are so distraught. They say that they know that I am a smart woman (I graduated college and dental hygiene school with very good grades.). I am 73 years old so they are worried there could be some dementia. I did have testing done and there is no reason to worry about that now or later. Thank God!

    So now I am broke, but I have the love of friends and family and I am just waiting to see what God has for me

  17. Juselda Brown
    March 11, 2023, At 3:50 pm

    Good day, Sharon, thank you for your words of encouragement, I read all your writing they have been coming to my email for a long time. I comment a few times when I read it today and read all the responses my faith strengthen I am going true a hard time with sickness and arthritis in both knees I can’t work because walking is really hard sometimes I am praying for healing because I know God can do anything and everything God’s is our father he promises he’ll never leave us nor forsake he is true to his words the waiting is not easy but he answers in his hone time.

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