Sunday, November 9, 2014

God doesn't answer, why pray?

We completed Genesis yesterday so I'm just posting some thoughts today.

The events briefly discussed in this post are still fairly recent and I realize may cause some people some distress. I sincerely hope that they don't, it is not my intent to make light of any events. I believe there are some lessons to be learned here and I want to share that.

Many of us have read testimony books, stories or compilations of stories where people have been faithful to God, they've prayed for a certain thing, and God provided. We don't often hear the other stories, where groups of people gather together and pray, yet God does not provide the desired answer.

Recently a family I know lost a daughter to an accident. The accident occurred on a Saturday night and she passed into glory on Monday. During the time between and even for some time after there was a significant amount of activity. I visited the hospital Sunday, did not get a chance to see the family at all but I was moved by the number of people who came out in support. There was a steady flow and at one time I estimate over 40 people occupying the waiting areas on two floors. There were lots of prayers, individual, small and large groups, and at least one group spent the better part of an hour in the chapel pleading for her life. We quoted scripture verses, claimed promises, believed with all of our hearts that she would recover yet just a day later she passed on.

So now come the questions, some will be actually voiced and some will simply be thought out. Did we do something wrong? Should we have prayed more? Wasn't there enough faith? How do I trust in God to answer other prayers?

From a purely clinical standpoint, death comes when this fragile body that we occupy is broken beyond it's ability to keep us alive. Quite simply her injuries were such that the body could not recover.

But is God not able to heal even a severely broken body? Certainly He is and this is where the problem with testimony stories comes in. Seldom do we hear anything other than how God miraculously healed someone that should have died, or provided just the right means to solve a problem. We're certain to give praise for that.

God placed us here and set in place physical laws to which we are subject. While He can suspend those laws, the times in which He does are few. And they depend not on what we do but on what God choses.

So the question is, why should we pray? I believe that there are several reasons. First we place our lives in a certain perspective, confessing that we are not in charge and admitting that God, the almighty creator of everything, is. Secondly, we go to God with our fears and sorrows, facing all of those emotions that if kept inside will cause us problems. Third, we gather together with fellow believers, gaining both strength and comfort, God created us to have fellowship, even more important in times of tragedy.

Eventually in all of our lives we will experience painful loss and sorrow. It's how we deal with the losses and sorrows that set us apart. Looking at these events, the great group of friends and family made an impression on others in the hospital. There were pastors from at least four different churches and I know at least one took time to speak to a family not associated with our community.

I saw Christian community in action, coming together in love, demonstrating for the world to see the difference between the saved and the lost. I believe it made an impact on someone, we may not know how much until we get home. And after the loss, in the midst of the questions why, we still know that God is the same God that we praised last week. We stand upon the greatest of all promises, that someday we will be with Him for eternity.

The bible tells us that it's not God's will that any should perish. That He has plans and designs for all of us. It also tells that we are free to make our choices, that this world we live in is broken and sometimes through our choices or the choices of others, plans and destinies change. But God is still sovereign. He can take a time of great sorrow and use for His glory. We may not see the fruit while on this planet but this should be a constant prayer. Father, when I do not understand, help me to trust fully in You.

Today's workout.  Step up, crunch, jump rope, windmill, slam ball, body saw. 36 intervals

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