Saturday, January 7, 2017

Unanswered Prayers

Have you ever thought about God and what it would be like to have all the world crying out to you, reaching out to you, counting on you and thinking that you just have to fix everything? I’m pretty sure no one would want that job. Obviously no one else is capable of doing that job. Some people may think they could do better, but I know that is not true.

God has things all under control. He really does hear our cries. He listens to every pray we say to Him. He hears every song that we sing to Him. He knows everything that we need. Think of how Superman can hear Lois Lane when she is in danger. Now think how crazy it would be to hear every person in the world if you were Superman and everyone else was Lois Lane.

Can you even imagine what that would be like. Can you even imagine what all that noise would sound like? Now think about how God doesn’t just hear it all as noise, but He hears each voice individually. He hears each cry to Him from each person and it’s not just noise, but their heart, their need, their desires, their cry out from the deepest, darkest places of their heart. That sounds crazy, but it sounds so amazing as well. Think about that for just one more minute. God hears every voice. He hears every person. He hears everything from everyone at all times, but he can hear my individual voice too. He can hear my heart and your heart at the same time. That’s a level of multi-tasking that I would never in my wildest dreams want to deal with.

Some people may say that because He has so many people talking to Him at once that maybe He just misses a prayer here or there. I don’t know about that. I believe He hears every prayer I make. I think he sees every tear I cry. I know that He holds me in the palm of His hand along with every other person.

Some may say, but what about my prayer that God didn’t answer? What about my desire that God didn’t give me? What about___? Yeah what about it. God doesn’t answer every prayer, every time. He didn’t say that He would. He does hear them, He does listen, and He does care about each and every one of us. Just because God doesn’t answer your prayer doesn’t mean He doesn’t love you. It doesn’t mean that He doesn’t hear you. It doesn’t mean that He doesn’t want to heal you or make you whole again. It just means that for whatever reason your answered prayer isn’t a part of His plan at that time. It’s not part of the big picture for life and for the world.

Maybe you suffer in life for a reason you don’t understand. Maybe you cry yourself to sleep at night because God isn’t healing you like you thought He would. Maybe at the end of the day you just want God to fix something in your life. Maybe you want God to save your best friend, or your only family member that you can think truly needs His saving grace.

Maybe you think God can and should do just this one thing for you because He is an all loving God. He absolutely is an amazing God, that loves His people, that loves everything He created, but he isn’t a puppet on a string. He doesn’t just do what you say you want. He isn’t a genie that grants 3 wishes like in the cartoon. He isn’t your parents that sometimes will let you do things that they know you shouldn’t not because they are bad parents, but because they are sick of hearing you whine.

God isn’t like that. He isn’t going to give in just because you cry out to Him all day everyday. He will act when the timing is right, when you need something and when your plan actually lines up with His plan. Not everyone gets the miraculous healing, not everyone gets a home restored, not everyone in life gets what they think they need. It may not seem fair, life may not seem fair, at times you may think God isn’t being fair, but He is.

He sees the big picture. He sees your strong faith in the most desperate situations, even if those situations end in a way that you didn’t pray for. Sometimes it is those situations that can be used to help others. God can see how your strong faith can be a teaching point. How that faith can be used to bring someone to a saving grace and faith in Jesus. He knows that your broken home, your crying heart, your incredibly tough break in life hurts like no other, but He also knows that your situation can help someone else, your story can change someone else’s heart... can make someone come to the light. It might not be your plan, but sometimes His plan doesn’t line up with ours.

Sometimes His plan is not what you think is perfect, but it really is. This life that we live in can be a really tough, unfair, unjust world that has more hate, disrespect, messy situations, and so much darkness you think you need a brighter flashlight. The problem isn’t God. The problem isn’t His plan. The problem is you, your friends, your country, your life, your biases, your made up solutions, your I can fix anything that life throws my way attitude. That’s not what God needs.

God needs you to stop trying to fix things that are broken especially when you don’t even know anything about it. Yet, you think you can tell Him how He is supposed to fix it. That is absolutely crazy. Tell your doctor next time that He does not need to perform some procedure on you because you can fix your heart yourself, that you know how to perform the surgery yourself because you read about it online, that you don’t need to take those pills he gave you because you found some crazy concoction on the internet that will cure it all. I’m sure that doctor would laugh in your face. He would tell you that he will see you back in his office when your plan failed. That’s kind of how you sound to God when you cry out saying His plan stinks.

When you tell Him it’s okay God I got this. He just laughs a little and I’m sure sighs because you are a complete mess. He sees that you aren’t built on the right foundation for yourself and your family.  He knows that you need to stop with your nonsense and focus on what you really need in your life, but unfortunately you have to see the error of your ways. You have to re-focus your mind on the situations that need shaping, molding, changing and healing. Those are the things you need to work on fixing. You need to work on your own heart to know that God reigns in control.

You aren’t performing the surgery, but you need to do what the master physician says to do. You need to work on hearing God’s full word and not just the parts that you want to hear or the parts that make you feel all warm and tingly. You need to start working on fixing the relationships that you messed up yourself. You need to ask for forgiveness when you have messed up. Those are things you can do.

Leave everything else to God especially the big stuff. Let God control the things that you have absolutely no business controlling. Let God reign in your life. You just need to focus on fixing your foundation that life has cracked along the way. You just need to focus on God and His plan for you. Be so busy with what God has called you to do that you don’t even have time to think about the things that you think you are missing in this life. Start spending time in God’s word, in God’s house, praise Him in the good times, in the bad times, in the sad times and in the I can’t believe God really just did that for me times. He’s worthy of all praise. He’s worthy in all situations. He’s worthy in your times of strength, sadness, gladness, madness, and even in those times where you just aren’t even sure what you are supposed to be thinking or doing.

He’s the ever present, ever helping, ever loving, ever providing father. You don’t have to have things all figured out because He does. You don’t need to work on fixing everything in your life or your world. You just need to work on doing your part, securing yourself to the foundation that cannot be moved. Make your foundation as strong as possible. The storms of life are never going to go away. Your situations aren’t always going to be perfect. Life won’t be perfect either, but God is.

His foundation is the most solid foundation that can build something on. Stop building your house and your life on grass, on sand, or little rocks that will shift in a storm. Build your foundation on God, His word, and when the storm does come (as you know it will) you won’t be shaken. You won’t be moved. You will stand tall with God right beside you as you face life together no matter how crazy it gets you will stand firm if you stand with God. 

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