I came across an interesting article last week that’s really had me thinking for the past few days. Not in a bad way, but it’s made me ponder the way I have approached situations throughout my life. It’s also made me feel a little more at peace with my relationship with God, which is always a good thing! The article was called “Why God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers”. I think this is a sensitive area for myself and many other spiritual people because not only is it something that we question in our own minds, but it’s also something we get asked about by those who don’t believe in God. Heck, it’s the question parents to hear from their child. I’m even sure some of you know people who have abandoned their faith because they didn’t feel like God was listening to them.
Regardless of which boat you fall into, whether you have considered this question, or if you have your own reason why, I think it’s important to take a moment and read this one sentence summary of the article: God knows His plan for you, you don’t. Just think about it for a second.
Now ponder this…how many times have you prayed the following: “God, why did you not grant me that ___? I wanted it so badly, and it would have been great for me!”, “Dear Lord, why are you putting me through this? What I have a done wrong to deserve it?”, and lastly, “God, why do you keep making everything worse just when it starts to get better?”.
I’ve asked every one of those questions countless times, but when I ask myself these next questions, it makes sense why God didn’t answer my prayers: Did something good come out of that struggle? Did you learn something about yourself? Did that battle bring you to a happy point in your life?
For me, most of them did, but what about the other ones that I still feel I went through for nothing? My answer to that is simply that my life isn’t over yet. Something might have happened to me that I may not see the benefits of until 10, 20, 30 years from now, but I’m faithful that something good will come out of it. For every struggle I’ve had, there’s been an equal or greater reward. And you know what? I believe that God rewards faithfulness and trust in Him because when you’re waiting to find that reward, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re having faith in everything He does and in His plan.
I know I use this example a lot, but last spring was one of the hardest times in my life. If I never had gone through the IBS, stress, sleepless nights, death of my dog of 16 years, etc. I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be on the career path I’m on. I wouldn’t even have this blog because that time in my life taught me what I’m truly passionate about: helping you all face your internal struggles and giving you the opportunity to reflect on your life.
As I was writing this, I got reminded of one of my favorite church songs from when I was little, “Blessings” by Laura Story. Here’s the refrain:
“What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”
God knows your plights. He put them there for a reason. So whenever your path takes a turn for the worse, remind yourself that God is the one that knows your plan, not you. Find the diamond in the rough. Most importantly, have faith.