When your prayers go unanswered
|Via Pete, Life is Good|
I don't claim to be very intelligent, wise, or godly. I get so incredibly nervous when I stand up in front of a crowd, barely able to get words out that sound English. I'm really bad at small talk, and hide from crowds. Or stand there awkwardly, hoping no one realizes I'm standing there alone and feels sorry for me. Sometimes I say really odd things when I open my mouth, things I don't even really understand, and then when I try to explain it, I end up feeling 2 inches tall and hide internally for the rest of the conversation.
But I do know one thing with 100% surety. One thing that I would stand on the rooftops and proclaim. One thing that makes me want to grab a stranger and talk to them.
God is good.
And people hear my story, and they shake their heads. "How did you end up so normal? How are you not messed up? How can you say God is good?How do you trust Him after all He did to you?"
I have prayed that prayer. "God heal him. Save her. Help me. Take this away. Move mightily. Move mountains. Move something!" And He was silent and I was left feeling really stupid when my prayer wasn't answered. Life hurts. Our hearts are broken and things happen that we don't understand, and prayers are "ignored" and we are left reeling and confused.
Have your children ever asked for something, something that was good in and of itself, but you knew without a doubt that it wasn't good for them right at that moment? And they cried, and screamed, and told you you were mean, and your heart just ached because they couldn't see the big picture, couldn't understand your heart, your reasons...and even though it hurt them, even though they couldn't see past their own needs in that moment, you knew and rested in the fact that you were wiser, you loved them, and soon, they would understand.
When all of my children were little babies, they hated their car seats. HATED. They would scream and scream and holler and throw toys and just ball their wrinkly little faces off. And my heart would break for them. Did I stop the car, take them out, and rock them, every time we drove somewhere? No. That would be silly. We needed to get somewhere, and if I stopped every time they cried, we would never make it out of our driveway.
But what I did do, was coo to them. "Mama knows, baby, mama knows. It's going to end up all ok. Mama knows." Trevor would just laugh at me, because my voice got all mushy gushy and I would tear up, but my babies were sad! In my wisdom, I knew they were not in pain, I knew we were going to arrive at our destination soon, and that they would one day understand that the car seat wasn't a medieval torture device. Sometimes my voice soothed them and they would just listen and rest in the fact that I was there and that they were safe, no matter what happened. Other times they didn't stop to listen, but just drowned out my love song with their own screams of anguish and terror. But I still sang. I still cooed over them with my love.
God knows life hurts. He knows that we are in pain, and that sometimes we feel like life is just one big punch in the face. Papa knows. He is not blind to our suffering. He is not turning a cold shoulder to our desperate pleas for help. But sometimes, sometimes He sees something we don't. He knows something we can't possibly comprehend right now, and He just wants us to stop, listen to His voice, rest in the fact that He loves us with an eternal, everlasting love, and trust Him. He hurts when we hurt, and I really think He just wants to take away all our pain and suffering with a snap of His fingers. And you know what? He will. Soon. In Heaven there will no more tears, no more pain, no more death!!
But right now, as we cry and beg Him to help, and when He doesn't answer just how we want, He is still there, singing over us, wanting us to turn to Him, focus our eyes on Him, and take the peace, the comfort, the love He is offering. It is enough. I can testify to that. His arms are big enough for all of us. His song of love is for all of his children, and whether or not you feel like it, you are one of them. And maybe He wants us to keep praying, because He knows that at His feet and before His throne, we are being made into His likeness, and getting to know Him more and more, no matter what the answer of the prayer.
Papa knows, my friend. Papa knows.
Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.
It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made.
Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God.
Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian.
Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope.
Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.
We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.
~ Oswald Chambers
Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.
~ R. A. Torrey
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.