What we want is not always what's best for us.
We are up at the cabin. Percy is looking out the window and whining. He was just outside a few minutes ago so I know he doesn't need to go out. But he wants to go. He wants to be able to run free outside, to follow the scents of squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and even deer. He wants to chase the birds.
But we know that we can't let him run. Why? Because he might run so far through the woods that he wouldn't be able to find his way home. Because he might get into poison ivy. Because we have bald eagles in our neighborhood, and he isn't much bigger than a big rabbit- and would probably look like one to an eagle. Because there are cars on the road that might not see him in time to stop.
We know things he doesn't. It is for his safety that we keep him on a leash. Because we love him, and would be heart-broken if anything bad happened to him, we keep him inside at times.
God doesn't keep us on a leash, but He does watch over us. He knows what we don't know. And sometimes I think He says no to our prayers because He knows that what we're asking for wouldn't be good for us. He patiently teaches us that His way is best. He protects us even when we don't ask Him.
We keep Percy inside and don't let him run free, but God lets us run when we want to go. He doesn't force us to follow His plans for our lives. He has given us free will. we are bound by time and space. We can only see the things right around us right now. But God isn't bound by time or space. He is everywhere, so we can never run away from His presence. Psalm 139: 7- 12 says
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
So even when we run, He sees where we are going, and He watches over us, waiting for us to come back to Him, protecting us even as we run.
We give Percy rules and boundaries because we love him. God gives us rules and boundaries because He loves us more than we can ever comprehend.