Have you ever had a time in your life where you felt like God didn't hear your prayer? You laid your plan out for him, telling him the best way to fix a situation, but it didn't get fixed, in fact it got worse?
I've always been good at telling God exactly how things need to go “heal this person God, change this situation, restore this relationship”. But what about the times when he is silent, or he feels distant? I’ve learned over the past year that when my prayers seem to go unanswered, when it feels like God is distant, those are the times, I can look back and clearly see he was working. He may not have been moving mountains in front of me, but he was there all along, holding my hand as he walked beside me.
Recently, I was looking back in my prayer journal and I read my entry from January 1, 2018. "Lord, I ask for one thing above all else, I want our relationship to grow closer, more intimate and real this year. My heart longs to know you, to love you, to be used by you. Help me to learn to trust you".
I had no idea that in less than two months I would be facing one of the hardest situations in my life. My Dad had an accident while working on a job site. As a result he had a traumatic brain injury, was in a coma, on life support, and passed away six weeks later.
As I look back, I see how God was faithful during that difficult time. He did draw me close in the crisis and also in the months following. Yes, through this hard time, God did answer my prayer; my relationship with him is more real and intimate than ever. And through it all, I learned to trust him and his plan.
Isaiah 41:10-13 "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
For weeks, as my Dad lay in a coma, I sat by his bedside praying constantly for his healing. But it didn't happen. Days and then weeks went by, and it felt like God didn't hear me. I certainly didn't feel his strength; I felt weak and lost. It wasn't until I finally got to the place, where I told God “whether Dad lives or dies, you are still God, you are still good, and I will still love you” that I got to the place where I felt God's strength.
My Dad died, and the hard came, but through the hard, God was present, and he did uphold me. Looking back I can see how he worked through the situation. Time and time again, he gave me the peace and strength needed for whatever I was facing. He taught me so much and held me tight through those incredibly hard times. I learned to lean on him when I had no one else.
I can trust him and know that there is no limit to what he can accomplish. But that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. Without a doubt, I will face more hard times in this life. But looking back, I can see that whatever I am going through he isn’t silent, he is working.
Lord, help me to trust you in every situation. No matter what I face, I know you are with me so I don't need to be afraid. You are in control, and I don’t need to do anything but wait on you. When I think you are silent or feel distant, help me to remember; no matter what, you are still God, you are still good, and I will still love you!