This one is hard to swallow, because we all have unanswered prayers that deeply affect us.
Why did my father have to die so young?
Why did my business fail?
Why did my wife leave me?
Why is my child dying of cancer? Why want God heal her?
I don’t think there is anyone on the planet that hasn’t had their prayers seemingly go unanswered by God. I know there have been many times I cursed God for not coming through for me when I wanted something. I know you have too. It is by far the biggest reason that people turn away from the love of God. Jesus even experienced this pain in Gethsemane and on the cross.
There are parts of life that will never be answered, and we just have to live with the consequences. Some things are our fault, others we are the victim, but some things just are. Life at times is more like a mystery that seems unsolvable.
But sometimes there are prayers that we pray when we see in hindsight that God was actually protecting us. You see we only see life through our own context, not through the eyes of God. We see linear, He sees multi dimensional (3D if you will). God is the great story writer, and at times he knows that what we have prayed for does not fit into our better story He is writing with our life. Haven’t you prayed diligently for something, only for it to fail or never happen, but later see that God was orchestrating something much bigger?
I want to share an example in my own life. I was on a ministry team back in the nineties, and we had developed a retreat format based on a book we all loved. I was part of the speaking team, and was very active within the ministry. I loved where God was leading us; we were a group of misfits that had a great message to deliver. I prayed constantly that we would be a success; I just knew that this was what God was leading me to do. I was using all of the skills I had acquired over the years: writing, speaking and technology. I was happier than I had ever been in my life.
Then it all went away. Our leader was taken completely out by a problem with his marriage, and the group quickly dismantled with the first storm that the group faced. Only three of us still speak on the subjects we developed. I was devastated; I was so angry at God. It felt like my prayers went unanswered, but it wasn’t true. He had something better for me; something that I was supposed to do for Him, and now I am reaching more people with my writing than I ever touched doing a retreat.
Sometimes it is the unanswered prayers where eventually see God’s love shine the brightest!