“If God can bring blessing from the broken body of Jesus and glory from something that’s obscene as the cross, He can bring blessing from my problems and my pain and my unanswered prayer.” Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham’s daughter.
Have you ever felt God did not answer your prayer? Of course! I have too. Often a young child asks a parent for something, but the parent knows better than the child. So the child does not receive what he or she asked for, receives something different, or is told to wait.
Someone said that God always answers prayer. He gives one of at least three answers: yes, no, or wait.
The apostle Paul prayed for a “thorn in the flesh” to be removed. He asked three times! Paul even said Satan used it to harass him. The word for “harass” means to be hit with a fist. “Thorn” could also be translated “splinter.” We all know the pain and distraction of a sliver of wood under the skin!
Paul observed it kept him from becoming proud. The thorn humbled him. Humility is a good thing!
But God did answer his prayer! It was not the answer he wanted. But the answer is profound!
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
Do you have a “thorn” you are asking God to remove and yet He doesn’t remove it? Perhaps you reply, “No, it’s more like a giant Redwood!”
“But, why?!” Why do I still have this thorn!? Why is this happening to me? Constantly asking God “Why?” can be like a hamster running on a wheel. It usually gets you nowhere.
So instead of gnawing on not knowing, try asking the “What?” question. Ask, “What can I do now in this experience to bring glory to God? What can I do now that helps someone else? What can I do now to grow closer to my Lord Jesus Christ? What does God want me to learn from this?”
Jesus commanded us to obey all that He has taught us. He did not say to figure out why everything happens. The Scripture if full of clear commands of “What” Christ wants us to do. Stay busy doing His commands and loving Him who gave us the commands.
Our Father, we trust Your infinite wisdom when we don’t know why. So we commit ourselves to love you with such devotion, we will obey you in doing what you’ve told us to do.