Learning to Wait
There are some lessons in the sanctification process of life that seem to be needed over and over. God knows we need to be reminded of some things time and time again and trained in them so that we don't stray too far. At times it's painful rather than pleasant (Hebrews 12:11), but it's truly His kindness to protect us from wandering from the straight and narrow path of this momentary life.
As a family we have recently been brought through a solid month of learning once again what it means to wait on and trust in God. Through a series of events related to work, finances, potential opportunities, and big decisions, we have had to wait and pray and wait and discuss and wait and pray and wait some more! Most of the things we were waiting upon have now been answered, but at the same time they were not answered in the way we originally thought seemed best. But this has led to a greater blessing: learning to praise God for prayers that seem unanswered.
When things don't go "our way," what does it look like to praise God for His kindness in not giving us what we thought we wanted? What does it look like to fully trust and give thanks to the God who declares the end from the beginning and who promises to accomplish all of His good purposes (Isaiash 46:10)?
Just one example of how we see this in Scripture is in Matthew 16. Jesus tells His disciples that He will suffer and be killed and Peter argues and tells Jesus this can never happen (basically, there's no way this can be good from a human point of view). But Jesus rebukes Peter in quite a serious way. What we know now is that the very thing that would have seemed so horrible to the disciples, was the thing God intended to save us from an eternity of separation from Him. Praise God! How great are His plans! We can trust Him.
As a side note, what an amazing opportunity this is to teach our children as well. They see that we've been praying for things and the answer wasn't what we wanted or even expected. But they can see us rejoice even when we don't yet know why the answer was "no." We can teach them that we have a God who is so worthy of every ounce of our trust.