Monday, November 5, 2012
Strength and hope in unanswered prayers...
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." -- Psalm 31:24
There have been times that I have struggled to come up with words to write in this blog...staring at the blank screen, wondering what possibly could be interesting enough in my head to share with my friends. That is not the case today! Today, I have the opposite problem...I have SO MUCH to say that I don't even know where to start! But...because I know you all don't have a lot of time to read my LONG messages, and some of my close friends know what word to say to let me know to "wrap it up" ;-) I will try to keep it brief today.
This past week has been such a blessing to me for MANY MANY reasons! I got to share my love of reading and my passion about literacy with some moms...I got to hear about some of my dear friends at work pulling together to help a fellow co-worker...I got to hear a group of strong, young women share their stories with each other that bonded them and strengthened them even more...I got to feel the overwhelming peace that came over me when I realized that God has blessed me greatly by his unanswered prayers.
Over the past year, I have written a lot about my disappointment...my longing for something...my worries and my fears. Whether anyone read my postings or not, I have appreciated the chance to write about it because it helped me deal with it...to "suck it up, Cupcake" and move on.
Today, I am reflecting on how grateful I am for unanswered prayers. If I had got what I wanted...what I prayed for...what I thought God meant for me...then I wouldn't have been blessed by what I got instead! I wouldn't have been blessed to see, hear and know the rest of the story. And, had I gotten what I wanted, someone else wouldn't have gotten what she REALLY needed...
Today's Bible study lesson was about how those silly Israelites didn't trust God's promises. Caleb and Joshua and others came back from their scouting exhibition in the promised land telling how great it was...but also saying that the people living in the land were huge, powerful and overwhelming. The Israelites were afraid and didn't even want to try to move in to the land THAT GOD PROMISED them. But Caleb remembered all the times God had saved them before, and knew that God would take care of them. (Numbers 13:17-14:10)
I have no idea what will happen in my future, but I do know that this experience of seeing how God sees the big picture and knows better than my prayers, will help me have more faith in God's promises. When I don't see answers to prayers right away, or even over time, I hope to remember this blessed moment when I felt God's strength through the blessing he gave me instead of getting what I wanted.
Today, I want to reach out to all those who feel God isn't listening...to all those who feel abandoned by God. There is so much strength in hoping and relying on God! So take heart, and continue to pray and hope in God. God sees the big picture of your life and knows what is ahead of you. You may not get what you pray for, but when you are faithful to God and do not give up on him, he will be faithful to you and give you what you NEED and bless you more than you can imagine! I don't say these things out of blind faith in a God I can't see...I say these things from experience and out of faith in a God I feel in my heart!