Friday, October 3, 2014

Faithful Friday: Unanswered Prayers

For six years I've struggled with one very personal factor of losing my son.

God said no to my deepest, most heartfelt prayer.

While I would never wish this pain on even the most evil in this world, in the early days of grief, when I heard of other's answered prayers - of healing, of miracles, a part of me would twinge. Sometimes, if I'm honest, a part of me still does.

Why not my son?  Why not my prayer?

It's the question that's crept doubt into my faith.  Why I felt anger brimming on the surface, even from the ER that first horrible night.  What turned me away from church for awhile.  And why I tried to push God out of my life.

I couldn't understand how He could let my husband and me survive a motorcycle wreck, but take my son while simply riding his bike around our neighborhood.

Nothing made sense anymore.

Our wreck had changed me.  It was a stop sign for our life.  During the days that followed, I appreciated moments more.  Sunrises and sunsets had meaning.  I treasured every moment with my family because I knew how precious time was.

And I shared it with others, frequently giving praises to God for saving us.  Helping others see the special in every day, was what I thought my purpose was.

So when God pulled the rug from under my fairy tale dreams, nothing made sense anymore.

What more could he want from me?  How much more did I need to suffer on this earth?  And how could I ever share the good news when so much good just left this earth?

I know now our wreck wasn't just a stop sign - it was a gift.  Those three years after were the closest our family ever was.  We made the most of every single day, packed more "I Love Yous" than ever before, and created sweet memories, not realizing a countdown was ticking away in Heaven.

Somehow we came through the darkness that comes with child loss.  Eventually, slowly, joy returned.  And my relationship with God strengthened beyond measure.

Yet, in the background hissing now and then was the reminder that God didn't hear my prayer.

At least not the one that mattered most.

To this day it is something I've fought with, what I've internally pushed aside during moments that required my faith to stretch and reach.  Though I tried to ignore it, that question was always lingering.

And then, in His perfect timing, He sent me a message that changed it all.

Last Sunday, our pastor spoke the words God knew I needed to hear.....

Even Jesus had unanswered prayers.

Wow.  That single sentence weighed heavy, bounced around the corners of my mind, and settled into my heart.

In the Garden, on the evening before Jesus would die for my sins, he prayed his deepest, most earnest prayer to His Father.  But even in his distress and agony, God couldn't answer His prayer.  His own son's.

Even knowing the pain it would cause, there was a purpose and a plan.

 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, 
and he said to them,
Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, 
and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 
Then he said to them,
My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. 
Stay here and keep watch with me.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,
My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. 
Yet not as I will, but as you will.”


Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Beautiful message.

Michelle Albinson said...

God does what is good for the majority even if it cost one person dearly. He will do much to get his lost sheep by using his believers. I can't imagine your loss and you're incredibly strong to keep hold of God still. Keep doing that and remember the many times God uses one person for the good of many. There will be something good that's supposed to come from this - look for it, pray about it and let God show it to you.

heather blair said...

Thank you for your kind words - and how true they are. We've already seen such wonderful works because of Austin's passing. Many of our friends and family have come to know God or grown closer to him - and that most certainly is worthy to be praised.

maree venning said...

I am early on in the journey of grief. My beautiful 25 year old daughter left us just 4 weeks ago. Literally thousands of people were praying fir her. About 10 had come and laid hands on her or anointed her with oil and prayed in full faith and believing for healing. Many Godly people had words from God or visions which confirmed God's plan to heal her. For 2 whole months I searched the Scriptures and stood firm on the many verses where God promises healing and other miracles (mountains moved, trees withered etc) based on faith in a miracle working God. And then she died.
I am struggling SO much with the whole concept if unanswered prayer. I appreciate how your pastors words helped you. But Jesus had a choice because was God. It seems different to me.
I'm finding it hard to trust God when it seems there are lots of verses in the Bible which proved to be untrue. I hope at some point this will change. Because without God the journey ahead is even more unbearable.

heather blair said...

Oh, dear friend, my heart is aching for you and in this moment I wish I could reach through this screen and hug you. Please know I'm lifting you up right now in prayer and my hope is that God's peace will wash over you - but most of carry you through this journey. Your pain is so raw, emotions so mixed at this early stage. Stand strong in your faith, Maree, even though it may be wavering. The God you know and believed in for healing and miracles still has a plan through this pain. Though we don't always understand (or agree) with the answers, he has good in store for you. I know that is so hard to hear right now. I'm holding you in prayers for the upcoming holidays and that you have peace in knowing where your beautiful daughter is in this moment. Take it one day, one step at a time. God will hold you through this, even on days you want to push him away.

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