"Wilt thou be made whole?" Jesus asked a man who had been ill for 38 years. The man was at the pool of Bethesda...a very special pool. An angel came to "trouble the waters" every so often, and the first one into the water afterward was cured. The man replied, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool."
This man believed in miracles. He had tried to get into the pool on his own, but someone else always beat him to it. Jesus told him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." He was immediately healed.
Imagine how many times the sick man must have prayed, "God, send someone to help me into the water!" That prayer was never answered. It's easy to try to put God in a box--confine His power into something we can understand.
But doing things God's way, instead of his own way, the impotent man didn't even have to get wet!
A few chapters later, in John 11, we find Martha crying, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee."
She had faith to believe that Jesus not only could have done what she could comprehend (heal her brother while he was still alive), but that God, in his omnipotence, could still do anything. Nothing could stand in His way, not even death.
There have been times I've prayed, yet it seemed God was silent. Martha had sent to Jesus while her brother was still alive asking him to come help. There was silence. Her brother died. Sometimes the answer is not what we want; sometimes the answer is no.
Why? Does God take pleasure in seeing us frustrated? No. He just had something far greater in store. "I am the resurrection and the life," He said, and Lazarus lived again.
Don't underestimate God's power to work above and beyond your expectations. Hebrews says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Have faith in God. He may not follow your plan, but He never fails. Eye has not seen, nor has anyone even imagined the good things He has for those who love Him.
"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." --St. Augustine