I do a lot of scrolling through my feeds and through the news, and let me tell you, the diagnosis doesn’t look good.
The world is in shambles. I think we can all say that we’re surrounded by suffering. Suffering because of disease, or suffering because of hatred. The air is thick with tension these days.
I also hear a lot of people say these days “God told me” or “God promised me”. Sometimes it doesn’t pan out when they expected it. And when that happens, I hear a lot of hurt. I hear a lot of pain. “I really counted on God this time,” they say. “He really let me down this time.”
In my own circles, people are waiting on God to know whether to go back to school, or to start/end a business, how to approach a health concern, or who to marry. Personally, from seemingly out of the blue, I’ve had a lot more muscle pain than usual.
To start, I want to say that I don’t know why prayers seem to go unanswered. All I can do is guess. I do know, though, is that not answering prayer is outside of God’s character. His character is to love and protect and serve. You don’t ignore people you love.
So we can surmise that He isn’t not answering your prayer.
Sometimes I wonder, when we get a promise from God, is it really His promise? Or is it a promise we are making for ourselves? Are we interpreting correctly? Have you created a false expectation for yourself?
I’m still figuring out myself how to understand God. But when I look back on my life, I realize that in the seasons where I thought He was silent, I wasn’t ready to hear. Or, He was making a way for a place where I couldn’t not hear Him or need Him.
A while back, I asked for a sign involving cardinals. If the answer was “yes”, I asked to see a cardinal. If a “no”, I would not see a cardinal. I saw two cardinals that day a few times.
Wanting more confirmation, I asked for a cardinal again the next day, but this time to approach the window. I saw cardinals, but none of them approached the window. I didn’t know how to interpret that. Whether that meant “yes” or “no”, I didn’t know, so I left it.
Frankly, I forgot about asking for that sign, until a few days ago, when a cardinal actually came to the window. My whole insides resonated with a resounding “yes”, sensing that God had answered that prayer.
But by the time I got my answer, I realized that my life shouldn’t be decided based on one sign, but rather based on how Jesus lived His life. Day-to-day. Speaking up for those without a voice, healing the hurting, and mourning with those who mourn. My pain hadn’t gone away, either. Each time a muscle would settle, a new one would start hurting.
Yet somehow, life is still moving forward.
God will answer your prayers on His own time. He hasn’t left. Let’s remember that as we deal with this suffering, whether mentally, physically, or both.
Until then, though, let’s show the character of Jesus to the world in our daily living. Let’s show love.