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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, April 22, 2013

When God Delays

During Sunday School, a friend shared about her son's challenges in graduate school.
I shared about my constant battle to give the Lord the reins on my life, especially concerning how long it is taking to find a publisher for one of my books.
Another friend talked about her struggle to understand God's will when her grandchild died suddenly.

Everyone of us expressed our ultimate trust in God and our submission to His will.
But our humanity cries out for the "why"s of our individual tragedies or injustices.

I said, "My fleshly eyes want to see the reasons behind God's delays to my prayers, or his "no"s.

But, scripture says:
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for." (Heb. 10:38)

And this is not a blind faith. A stupid, ignorant faith that says, "don't worry, be happy."
No, this is a faith based on:
  •  the reliability of scripture,
  •  the faithfulness of God,
  •  the testimony of hundreds who witnessed His death and resurrection, 
  • the faithful testimony of Jesus's disciples,
  • the writings of secular historians who were Jesus's contemporaries, 
  • two centuries of evidence of the power of God to transform lives,
  • fulfillment of prophecies,
  • archeological evidence,
  • and our personal experience of the work of the Holy Spirit within ourselves and those we love.

When we cannot understand God's answers or why He delays in answering a godly prayer, we cannot say that:
God is not good.
No, we already know that God is good and is never not good. (James 1:16)
We cannot say that God doesn't care.
We know that He cares for us, not only because His Son died for us, but because His word says repeatedly how He loves us. (1 Pet. 5:7)
We cannot say that God doesn't know best.
We know that the infinite, omniscient, Alpha and Omega, Ancient of Days, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, the One not bound by time, Who always has been and always will be...
has more than just an inkling about our circumstances! (Rev. 21)

Every morning the battle begins anew. My heart and my mind begin to question and get upset about the things that I've earnestly prayed about.
"Why, God? The things that I'm asking for are such good things?
Yes, I know that you want me to learn to trust you.
Yes, I know that the work of the Spirit is to transform me.
Yes, I know that I am to live by faith and not by sight.
Yes, it is possible that you are preparing the way for others involved in my prayer,
But... "

Then I sigh, and lift my hands up toward heaven to release my prayer burdens.

For I know that when God does answer, it will be on His terms, way better than I could ask or imagine, and will be by His provision, not by anything I have done, and will be for His glory, not mine. (Gideon in the book of Judges—chapters 6 and 7— is a great example of this.)

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5: 16)

(All scripture verses are taken from the NIV Bible)

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