Throughout history we can see the fingerprint of God. Sometimes His handiwork is obvious; remember the parting of the Red Sea? And other times His work is unnoticeable and behind the scenes.
In Matthew 7:7-8, God tells us to ask, to seek, to knock. But if God is supreme … then why pray at all? Why would God allow pain or suffering or the unspeakable to happen?
It is one of the most troublesome questions in all of theology. But let me say this, God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. We are human. We are none of those things and can’t be expected to understand all of His ways.
Remember poor Job? This was a man that lost everything but his wife and his life. He lost his children, his home, his livestock, his servants and was covered in oozing boils. Not to mention he had three so-called friends that lectured him on why he was getting what was due.
Finally, God speaks to Job and says what we all need to hear! (Job 38:1-23) First He asks Job questions and even emphasizes that HE is in control. Then He speaks about the sea and its boundaries. Who else can command the waves to start and stop? Throughout the next chapters, God continues to speak to Job until finally Job has to say, “Ok…I got it”.
Job 42:1-2, “Then Job answered the Lord, and said, “I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.”
The Message says, “Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.”
Wow. God is in control. He sees the beginning and the end. He has no limitations. His plan can mean adversity or prosperity. Tragedy or joy. Even when we cannot fully fathom why, He knows. He understands. He rules. He reigns.
His sovereignty should relieve us from our anxiety. It might not take away all of your questions, but it will take away your fear! And thankfully, He has freed us from having to explain or figure out what He is doing. I can say, I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know why my sweet little child had his handicap. God knows and I don’t have to explain it.
Our part is to pray fervently, sincerely, and honestly, and bring our deepest concerns to the Lord. God’s part is to listen to our prayers and to graciously answer them in His own time, in His own way, according to His own will.
Joni Eareckson Tada has spent the last 45 years in a wheelchair. She has inspired millions and had this to say about unanswered prayer:
“God is heaven -bent on making us more like Christ. He can use anything – be it a broken neck, a broken heart, or a broken home. Suffering has a way of uncomfortably revealing to us the things inside us that need to be transformed. When I’m not in pain, I think I’m a very likeable individual. But when pain continues to squeeze me, it’s like squeezing a lemon! Out comes this sour attitude, this pessimistic anxiety, this fear of the future. That’s when I have to realize that these are things God desires to change in me. I think that what most people are hungry for is assurance that God is listening and that He cares. We just want to know that He’s involved, that He’s compassionate. What we need to know the most is Jesus Himself is the Answer.”
Don’t give up. Continue to seek His Will and read His Word. Don’t let your fast paced lifestyle demand so much of your time that you give up your intimacy with God. Time spent in His Word will reap eternal benefits.
Trust. Wait. Pray. He loves you so very much…