….just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. Garth Brooks
This is one of two posts that I have struggled with posting. Not because I don’t believe in it but because it was so tough for me to actually accept. Truth is God answers all prayers, sometimes just not in the way we want to hear them. Its easier to say that the prayer was unanswered than to admit that the answer was No.
In packing up and moving my stuff from the rental to my new place, I found some of my old journals. I scanned through them and was actually surprised by some of what I had written. There were numerous pages where I had written prayers to God begging him to take your anger, take your depression, your foul language… begging Him to help control your frustration towards me and thus the anger that I was on the receiving end of, and then the prayers for strengthened love between us and for the pressure of finances to be eased. One of the first entries that caught my eye was me recording a meltdown you had one of the first night we moved into our rental. You were angry at me because you had to make the mac & cheese with margarine instead of butter. It wasn’t a good night.
I struggled with the fact that you got this great job at the U. We (I) had prayed for this job for years. Lord, please bless M with a job at the U so that he will have benefits, retirement, we can have holidays off together, we can start to look at owning our own place, and Lord, please let it be a position that we might be able to still work with one car so as not to have to add an additional burden to our budget right away. BAM-answered. You started your new job 13 days after D-day. And I carried the burden of not understanding how God would answer that prayer but not the ones that I had prayed for so many years. I struggled because if God is omnipotent and nothing takes Him by surprise, then why would he choose to bless you knowing that you were going to do such a horrible thing. Why were you getting to benefit from the prayers of not only me, but my friends and my family? Why would He not want you to have to struggle with where to live and where to work and what to do? Why? Why?
But it doesn’t matter why. The answer to my prayers for peace in my marriage all those years was “no” and the answer to you getting the job was “yes.” And the reason it doesn’t matter is because I don’t know what the road ahead holds, but I do know who holds the road. Years ago, I couldn’t see that years later the Lord would say Yes to peace, just not in the way that I expected. I do have peace now and while its not within my marriage, it is within me and it wasn’t an unanswered prayer but rather a prayer to yet be answered.
PS… if you are struggling with the whys in life, talk to a Pastor. Mine has been an invaluable resource in helping me get through this and if you don’t have a Pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley has a short article that might help– How will I know God’s answer to my prayer?