Monday, August 3, 2009

When God doesn't answer our prayers the way we want

These past six weeks have been very hard on all of us. My son has been very ill this summer. They are pretty sure he contacted Giardia from a local river while at a day camp earlier this summer. The Giardia has now turned into post infectious irritable bowel. He has been dealing with severe nausea and now constipation. I wont go into all the details because my point on this blog is to focus more on the spiritual side of this experience.

From the very first moment that my son showed signs of illness we began to pray. We have covered him in prayer and have reached out to many family, friends and even strangers to also join us in prayer. At first we just wanted to understand what he had and for him to get well. Then as the weeks progressed my anxiety starting getting the best of me and I was worrying that he wouldn't be able to make a trip that was planned for him and and my husband to go to California for a family wedding. They were also going to catch a Giants game while they were there. That is their favorite team and Doug scored GREAT seats. I was looking forward to the quite time at home to focus on my final edits of the book, as I added a new section to each chapter called, What I Know Now. I was also looking forward to spending some quality time with Lauren. As the day for the trip creeped closer and closer, I knew in my heart he would not be ready. The other factor besides the trip is that he starts school August 10th. It is far more important that he is ready for school. As we continued to seek doctors and pray, others prayed with us and a friend even fasted and prayed for Garic. We asked God to please make it clear...should he go on the trip and also PLEASE LORD HEAL HIS BODY. Obviously we wanted him well enough for the trip and school. Garic kept saying I KNOW I will be well enough for the trip. I have faith.

Over the years as I have grown as a Christan (I am certainly not done yet), I have learned to pray for my needs, wants, etc but I also say, "Lord, your will be done". That means here is the answers I am looking for,but if that is not your will, then I put my will aside, and embrace whatever it is you, Lord, have for me at this time. This is so easy to say but when you actually have to put it into practice that is another story. It is also a hard lesson for a 10 (almost 11) year old boy to learn.

I think its so easy to forget who God really is. He is not a magician, nor a jolly old (fat) man, nor is He our own personal genie, that we can make requests and poof we have it. On the other side we are not puppets or robots. How do you reconcile a prayer request knowing God loves you, wants the best for you, has plans to prosper you and not harm you, but you think you know the right way or right answer, so that is what you are praying for (as well as saying, "your will be done") but then it turns out as you pray and ask God to make it clear (God is not a God of confusion), that when you receive the answer it is different than what you wanted. Does this mean God is mean. Does this mean God didn't quite hear you. Does it mean that you were not good enough. Does this mean God is busy with bigger and more meaningful requests. The answer to all of these (and possibly other questions in your mind) is...are you ready?...NO Just as I told my son, yes God heard you, yes God loves you, you (no one) can ever be good enough (we are saved by grace NOT works), God is not mean, but He is just. God is so incredible and more than any human being can fathom. He can multi task thousands upon thousands of things at one time, so the thought that He could ever be to busy is unrealistic. That is why God IS God and we are not.

I know God heard our prayers. I also know He IS healing Garic. I confess, its a slower process than I like or wanted BUT ultimately I am praying for Gods will to be done. My faith is still growing but it is strong enough to say, ok Lord, I surrender now that its clear as crystal that my son is not to go on this trip, but please Lord, let him be well enough for school. My faith has to be just as unwavering if August 10th rolls around and Garic is still dealing with nausea and intestinal issues. I will cry. I will be sad. I may even be mad. And that is ok. We are not expected to be robots and suppress our emotions. The Bible clearly says don't sin in your anger. Anger in itself is not a sin, its what you choose to do with it. I wont sin in my anger but I will still question WHY? and I may never know why, but that is where my faith MUST come in.

We are still praying that God will heal Garic and he will be more than ready for school on August 10th. If he is not then we will be continue to pray, seek medical help and trust that Gods will is being done for His purposes. He loves Garic more than we do. He knows what Garic needs.

I encourage you if you have been disappointed, mad or sad at a prayer request that was not answered the way you wanted, remember we are not God, we may never understand why, but God is sovereign and good. Our faith should not be simply because we get what we want.


  1. Sheryl,

    The timing of your blog couldn't have been any better. When you wrote:

    "If you have been disappointed, mad or sad at a prayer request that was not answered the way you wanted, remember we are not God, we may never understand why, but God is sovereign and good."

    I knew God was talking to me. I have been questioning why God has not answered my prayer requests regarding my daughter. It seems like everything I have prayed since she was 5 years old is going in the opposite direction now that she is 21 and has a boyfriend.

    Ever since straying from God a year and half ago and compromising her walk, I have prayed specifically that she would not get married or pregnant until God restored her faith. I believed each time I prayed that any moment God would remove the blinders from my daughters eyes and that she would seek to change her life and get right with God once again.

    But that is not the case. No she's not married, but she's living with her boyfriend, she's not in right relationship with God and a few days ago she told me she's pregnant.

    Her choices sadden me greatly. But
    your words have reminded me that although I don't have an answer as to why??? God indeed is sovereign and good and that gives me much hope.

    Thank you for being obedient and sharing God's truth. -Gingoo

  2. Gingoo, Thank you so much for your comments. I would love to share more with you if you would like email me I will be pryaing for you and your daughter and the baby that God has allowed to form in her womb. I look forward to hearing more from you, Sheryl

  3. Quick update on this blog...praise report! My son was able to start school! 1st day was a hard (nauseating) morning but got through it and so far 2nd day started off better than yesterday! I am grateful! one day at a moment at a time!


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