God is good; all the time; all the time; God is good!
Unanswered prayer is a stumbling block for a lot of people, me included. Sometimes I feel like I throw my prayers up, only to have them hit the ceiling and fall to the floor. What’s up with that? Of course, God is God and I am not but still I long to understand why he does what he does.
Perhaps it would behoove me (I love that word “behoove”) to know what God is like before I question why he does what he does.
Steve Brown in his book, “Approaching God,” asks us to consider this: Suppose you see a man with a knife going towards a person who is strapped down and helpless. You might think this man is a monster about to commit an unthinkable crime.
But would you still think that if I told you that the man with a knife is a surgeon and the helpless victim strapped down is the patient. It takes on a whole different meaning, right?
If God is a monster, our unanswered prayers mean something quite different than if God is kind and loving. We have a choice. We can look at unanswered prayer and wonder if God isn’t some puppeteer who delights in toying with our circumstances; or we can look at unanswered prayers and say, “My Father, I just don’t understand, but I trust you.”
When my son was 11, he broke his femur. They had to pull his bone back into position so they could set the leg. As they were getting the weights ready to pull his bone down, I stood over him, looked into his eyes and tried to distract him from the incredible pain he was about to experience. He just kept screaming, “No, mom, don’t let them do it! I’m only a little kid!
It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and it still brings tears to my eyes. My son didn’t understand. He cried, I cried, but the motivation was never that we wanted cause needless pain. It wasn’t an act of malice or incompetence. It was an act of healing and love.
The next time you feel your prayers aren’t answered, ask yourself two questions: Does God love me and do I trust him? The proper answer to these questions won’t make the pain go away but they will remind you that he is there, he loves you, he knows what he is doing, and that, even if you don’t understand, he does.
Being Human connection: “If you can’t trace God’s hand, trust his heart.” -Charles Spurgeon