We prayed. We petitioned. We cried out for a miracle. We trusted God was big enough, strong enough, and good enough to heal. We knew His promises, were trained in His faithfulness, and depended on His mercy. But instead of healing, death came, at least in the finite, earthly, temporal form.
I sometimes think that God gets it wrong.
He doesn’t answer some of our most heartfelt, guttural, vulnerable prayers, ones that cut to our core and rip us of our pride. Venturing into an area of trust we haven’t experienced before, only groans can express the deepest crevasses of our heart. Our trust wavers when our loved one’s body shows the unmistakable marks of impending finality or when our dreams fade far from reality.
Doubts swirl in our mind:
Where is God when He says no?
What is His plan when we don’t see the good in our circumstances?
Can we truly say He is good and holy when our life is crumpling and the pain is unbearable?
Is He just? Is He fair?
Does He really love me after all?
Sometimes it feels like prayer doesn’t work, has no purpose, and yields no response. I get tempted to just give in and quit asking, especially when it comes to the deepest longings of my heart.
My very first time praying occurred five years after realizing and accepting the fact that I needed a Savior. My dear friend, Katie, was on a trip with her family when she had a sudden heart attack and slipped into a coma. For three days she teetered between death and life, leaving us unsure of what lay ahead for her life. Three friends huddled around a living room ottoman in North Texas, crying out to God on Katie’s behalf. Spare her life, God! Deliver her! Heal her heart, Lord, a heart that loves people with genuine compassion and grace! Save her parents, siblings, and friends from enduring the agony of her death!
But, Katie died. Not seeing the end of eighth grade like the rest of us, her numbered days were done. My first time praying ended in death, disappointment, and despair.
God answered wrong.
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