When It Seems Like Our Prayers Go Unanswered
So – it seems like forever since you first started praying – and still, no answer.
You’re tired, you’re just a little irritated, and maybe desperation has started a panic.
You’re feelings might even be a little hurt – I know mine were.
We know Him…we’ve believed in Him, followed Him, loved Him, served Him – it’s not that we doubt that He CAN answer – it’s just that we’re bewildered by the fact that He HASN’T.
What am I – chopped liver – out here? No pun intended for me – since it was my liver that caused the grief. Well, really it was my blood, but the damage went to the liver – so – same thing.
Who knew that a virus could lurk in a person for over 25 years without that person even knowing? What!? I was just as surprised as you – probably more so.
An emergency surgery from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy (baby growing in the fallopian tube) – had required numerous blood transfusions. I got well, we raised two children, had two weddings, and then…I got tired, more than regular tired.
Long story short, that blood that saved my life in surgery? It had a virus – Hepatitis C virus. Shocking, but no problem – give me the shot and I can get on with my life.
Not so fast, Grasshopper. It’s not your average, run of the mill, “give me the medicine so I can get well” Hepatitis. It’s the, “I’m sorry but you will need at least 52 weeks of chemotherapy, and it might not ever be gone” kind.
It was 2006 and I don’t care how spiritually stable a person is – a bad diagnosis will take the breath and life out of you for awhile. It’s 2013 and I’m well now – but it was a long old road.
Maybe you have felt that way – the loss of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend, the desperation of worrying about a child’s addictions – your whole life revolves around, and is influenced by, the anxiety and pain of unknown things.
You pray – repeatedly, often, continuously, desperately…usually without words. Friends pray for you, family prays over you – the Spirit intercedes with the words you can’t find to express the anguish. Still – it goes on, and on, waiting for an answer or a resolution – or a healing. I know it – that desperation and fatigue from continuous praying with no quick answers.
But He spoke deep to my Spirit in those hopelessly long, dark of night, chemo-ridden days and I needed to share it with you – because it changed me. He changed me.
I’ll share it with you.
“Lord, I’m tired – I’m praying for a miracle – I don’t know how much longer I can last at this pace – why aren’t You doing something about this?”
“Child – a lesson in endurance is never a short lesson.”
And He had me at endurance. Because lessons on miracles, on faith, on serving or prayer – while they are life-long learning processes – they can be pretty quick lessons.
But endurance – there’s no quick way to teach it. It’s long – misery long – desert wilderness long – and you might not be rescued for awhile, even though you’re dying for some cool water and a little shade. Ask the Israelites. Manna can get old after awhile.
And once you get to that point where it’s just you and dust storms with sand in your sandals – it might even get worse. Because endurance is all about settling in our minds – no matter what happens – He is my God and I am His.
Endurance produces deep, unshakeable, Light in the dark kind of faith that can not and will not be moved. Through the worst of things, through the hottest of fires – Nothing can convince the heart that He is anything other than good.
That answer we’re looking for? It’s Him. Not the solution that we think would be best. Not the healing that we would like. Not the end to depression or anxiety or fear.
Because as long as we are looking for a healing – we might be disappointed.
But if I’m looking for a Healer – He will heal me in ways I never thought possible – and it might have nothing to do with the physical.
As long as I’m looking for deliverance from a problem – I might be disappointed.
But if I’m looking for a Deliverer – I’m going to be delivered from things I wasn’t even smart enough to know I needed deliverance from.
Tired of praying? Tired of wishing things were different and wondering when He’s going to move in it? So was I.
Until He told me that He loved me enough to help me learn the importance of enduring in Him.
So don’t give up – your Deliverer, your Healer – He’s got you. He believes in you and He is confident that you can learn that there is no way to appreciate Hope until you have been without hope. He’s the Singer of songs over you. He’s the Lifter of your head. He’s the best Comfort you’ll ever have. He’s that Living Water your looking for in the desert.
Jesus. For any question you might have. For any pain that overwhelms. For dark days and tearful nights. Jesus. He is a complete sentence.
Listen Beloved…He IS the complete Answer.
Our prayers were Answered before we even prayed them.
“From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.” Ps. 118:5 (Hope in Him is a very large place of healing)