Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unanswered Prayers

There is a verse in the book of James that has completely grabbed my attention recently (James 1:6 if you're wondering).  I have been thinking about this verse for probably two weeks now.  I've been wanting to write about it, but not exactly sure what I wanted to say or how to go about it and desperately wanting what I said to be accurate.  So I have held off.

The verse is about how to ask God for things, how to make a request to God.  I love this topic and I couldn't wait to write about prayer.  I wanted to talk about how the Bible says to go about it and how God answers it and how to pray within his will… my mind has been full of all sorts of snippets and ideas and verses that have come to mind.  So today I spent the better part of the afternoon writing about prayer.  

Ironically, the year 2014 (or at least the 16 days thus far) has been a more prayerful time for me than any other period of my life, outside of a few specific trials and tragedies.  So I was a little surprised when my afternoon ended with me being stuck.  Absolutely, positively stuck.  

I have this wonderful post all set to go about how God longs to answer your prayers and when prayed within his will and with full conviction and no doubt he will answers your prayers, really it's quite lovely and inspiring (you might not realize it but there was some sarcasm typed in there).  But I just couldn't hit "publish".  I couldn't post it because I kept hearing this voice inside me asking, "But what about when he doesn't?  What about those times God doesn't answer your prayer that is prayed from the bottom of your heart with the deepest of conviction?"

I tried to ignore this voice.  I did.  It so did not go with the flow of my post. So my solution when two things don't work well together is to ignore one of them.  Perhaps not the best strategy, but don't judge!  But today that didn't work.  I couldn't ignore this voice.  So the blog I prepared is sitting in my queue, just waiting.  And I am here typing, thinking that maybe I am supposed to try to explain why sometimes God doesn't answer your prayers.   Only, the problem is…  I don't know.  

I don't know why God didn't save the baby you desperately wanted to carry to term.  

I don't know why your loved one died so young, or how you are supposed to find joy again without him/her.

I don't know why there are always more bills than there is money no matter how hard you work.

I don't know why your marriage continues to struggle and the redemption that is promised in the Bible seems like a fictional story.

I don't know why your child is sick.

I don't know!!!

I don't know.

i don't know

I DO know that HE knows.  And I know that one day His plan will be fully revealed, and that plan will be perfect.  

I know that he works all things…ALL THINGS…for good (Romans 8:28), even when we can't possible imagine how.  

I know that He loves you, don't doubt that love, not even when your prayers go unanswered.