Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When God Answers Prayers... And When He doesn't.

Can I share a deep, dark secret of my soul?

It's a thought that might make me sound like I'm less of a Christian, or that my understanding of the bible is poor.

But it is this...

Sometimes when God performs miracles and answers prayers for others, I feel betrayed.

Why? Shouldn't I be praising His name for answered prayers? I often join my brothers and sisters in Christ praying for provision or healing or a miracle in a tough situation and I do rejoice when God answers the prayers in the way that we are asking. I celebrate, I thank him and I proclaim His good deeds to others. But, there is always a small part of me that wonders, deep down, why God has answered prayers for another but not for me; not for my family.

My brother was in a tragic accident in 2000, when he was only 9. We prayed that he might be able to walk again, that his ability to remember, learn and speak might be restored to normal, and that he wouldn't suffer from seizures. None of these things have been granted to us.

My sister and her husband are struggling with infertility. We've prayed for 4 years for God to open her womb. We are still waiting.


A dear friend of the family had a stroke this past weekend, we prayed earnestly for his life and for healing because it didn't look good. I am overjoyed to share that God did answer our prayers and our friend is beginning his road to recovery. I can't thank God enough for hearing our cries. Seriously.

That small part of me that wonders "why not me?" in no way means that I am not rejoicing for the answered prayers for others. But the question still creeps up in my heart. I feel guilty writing it down, but it is truly the way that I feel and I sure do have to put every effort forward to not allow that feeling to take root and grow because I know there isn't an answer. No one can say why God answers some prayers and not others and I know I don't, in anyway, deserve to know the answer.

I realize I'm not the only one with unanswered prayers, which I guess is one reason I'm sharing this. I'm sure I'm not the only one who sometimes wonders why.

What's more? I don't have a beautiful, theological thought to summarize this confession. All I know is  this...

God is still God. Whether prayers are answered or go unanswered, He is still good. I love Him because He first loved me. He gave his Son so that I could have life everlasting and even though it seems like a far way off sometimes and it doesn't fully take away the hurt in the here and now, the prayers that feel unanswered will be wiped away one day. Maybe we'll understand why we didn't get what we asked for, or maybe it just won't matter anymore.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

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