Updated: Jul 25
Who am I to be able to share on this subject of why God doesn't sometimes answer our prayers? I wrestle with answering this question here on my own, for sure. But thankfully we know One who does give us reasons why; in my opinion, it is one of the hardest things we have to deal with… at least for me, it has been most difficult. We long for answers. If you’ve already read Part One, you’ll remember I’m not one who is a fan of waiting. I like to see things go smoothly. I’m not big on struggles and trials. Although, I never met anyone who is! In the midst of one of the deepest storms of my life, as I wrote in Part One, I found full surrender to Jesus to be a gift from the heart of God. It brought peace that He alone could give.
However, in writing Part Two of this post, I felt I had to have concrete answers to the question of unanswered prayer, greater than just my own testimony. Struggles, trials and unanswered prayers are part of what we face this side of Heaven. So when they visit us, it’s good to have some understanding ~ to know how to walk through them with the grace God freely gives as we look to Him. My intention was to have answers in this post...all lined up in order… 1. 2. 3. I have to smile when the Lord has different plans. After all, I’m not a trained theologian and He knows that.
Just as I was getting started with my writing this morning my dear friend, Lizzy Adams, texted me. As usual, her text bathed me in God’s peace and love...that’s Lizzy’s way… she’s like Mary, Martha’s sister, always sitting at the feet of Jesus. When you spend time with Lizzy, His love is so present in her… it’s wonderful. It spills over...and I always come away so refreshed and encouraged even if I only have a few moments with her. I told her what I was writing this morning and asked her for prayer and any insights she may have regarding why we sometimes have to wait, and other times have to endure the answer ''no''.
I love the wisdom and gentleness that spills forth from my friend. Here’s her response: “The only thing I know in the midst of unanswered prayer is clinging to the TRUTH of who Jesus is… remembering the TRUTH of the Gospel over and over.” I LOVE THIS! It isn’t a formula. It’s ALL ABOUT WHO JESUS IS and the safety that’s ours as we cling to Him in the midst of our storms and unanswered prayers. Knowing the truth He has our backs and He promises to never leave us or forsake us brings great comfort. And...He can say to us, “You have to wait on this.” He can. He’s our God. He can say “No, I’m sorry.” It’s wise to be good with that...oh, we can wrestle it out with Him… which is okay… or we can choose to rest.
And we can rest in Jesus if we truly consider who He is... and we can cling, trusting Him, because He can see the beginning from the end. He sees the frailty of our flesh and is committed to covering us with His love, His grace, and His mercy. He knows our every need. I love that truth. It makes me feel safe. And very loved. So when we come to another impasse and we’re not seeing answers to something we've prayed for, I hope we can remember Lizzy’s words… and cling to Jesus, trusting Him to bring forth what He knows is best for each of us and all that concerns our lives.
I want to remember His Word and soak myself in His truth. And I’ll choose to trust...hopefully without the wrestle. Oh, I will always be that persistent widow though, praying through, but praying through with patience and peace instead of frustration, fear, or the doubt that starts to creep in when Heaven seems closed to me. And I will continue to say out loud, “I trust You, Jesus; I know You hear me and You see my heart. You know all about me… all about those I love so dearly…”
You know what? I’m in this for the long haul. I’ve prayed countless prayers over decades, time passing far more quickly, these days especially, then I ever thought it would. If I can impart one thing it’s this: though not every prayer has been answered, or answered the way I had hoped, Jesus still remains His Faithful Self in my life. In full surrender, clinging to Him is the best thing I have ever done or could ever choose to do. My prayer is that all who read this will be able to embrace this truth. So I wait... I think we’ll always have to wait... and I walk… and I run... with new patience and peace, looking to Jesus, who loves me beyond what I could ever comprehend with this finite mind.
And I soak in His Word...knowing that sometimes unanswered prayer can weigh us down... “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:1-2a
Many have gone on before us whose testimonies encourage us like we see in Hebrews 12… and many are here in our midst, like Lizzy, who are on this journey with us and can lift our arms when we’re weary and worn, waiting for answers. But oh, to keep our eyes on Jesus, to cling to Him as we wait, is the most precious posture we could ever assume because there’s no one who loves us more than He does. Waiting... God has a different take on it than I’ve had in the past. And because He loves me so much, He’s opening my eyes to the beauty in the wait...
“But they who wait for the Lord shall RENEW their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint…” Isn’t it wonderful when our strength is renewed? And who wouldn’t want to soar like an eagle, seeing our lives from a different perspective?
And oh, to exchange my weariness for the ability to walk and run without the exhaustion I sometimes experience in the middle of the “wait”… So I wait on Jesus…clinging to Him in full surrender and you know what? I’m finding it more beautiful then ever before! On this journey together, Deb