Whenever I take the time to look back on my life I am amazed at the goodness of God. Especially so in light of my wandering ways. When I look back at the things I asked for and what was given to me instead I am filled with praise and thanksgiving. Like the country song says, "some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers."
Scripture tells us that God's ways are not our ways and sometimes this just plain stinks! Yet, God is a loving Father who knows what is best for us. He has a plan for us. And His plans, His ways, are always far better than ours.
In my younger days, before my conversion, I dreamed of a life of singing in a band. I dreamed of living on stage, in bars and clubs, and partying till the end. What a stupid dream! In fact, I think I even prayed, in my own twisted way, for these things. Thank God for a great big "NO". If God would have revealed to me His plan at that point in my life I would have laughed and said "thanks" but "no thanks." Now I can't imagine my life any other way. I can't imagine not being married to my wonderful wife and enjoying my beautiful children. His ways are far better than mine.
I am sure Zechariah and Elizabeth had many days to dream of what life would be like with children. I am sure they had ideas in their minds of what they would do with their child. They obviously prayed constantly, even in their old age, for a child. How disappointed they must have been as the years slipped slowly by and no child came. Yet God's ways far exceeded their dreams and ideas. I'm sure they never expected to have an angel announce that they would be given a child. I'm sure that they never thought that he would "be great before the Lord...filled with the Holy Spirit...turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God...or make ready for the Lord a people prepared." Their expectations were met and exceeded beyond belief. Hence the name that God gives - John - "God is gracious."
God has a plan for you today. You may have gotten out of bed early in the morning with ideas in your head of how the day was to go but He has plans that are far better. This doesn't mean that the day will end with all of your heart's desires being fulfilled. Rather, it means that He loves you and wants you to trust Him for He has plans for your good. Your only duty today is a simple one, say "yes" to God. In good and in bad, say "yes" to God! There is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. "Do not be afraid for your prayer is heard!"