Saturday, April 12, 2014

He Answers

God is faithful and good.

He hears your prayers.

And He answers your prayers. Always. Every time.

These three statements are facts. But sometimes, each of us knows, that they don't seem to be. Sometimes, we pray for years and years, and what we pray for doesn't happen. We don't get the job we want, someone doesn't recover from an illness, or "family" doesn't look like what we think it should. Many things I've prayed for haven't happened like I prayed for and hoped they would.

But you know what?

God still answered each of those prayers. Let me tell a story. A story about my family. Something a little personal, I suppose.

When I was young, I prayed for a sister. I so badly wanted a sister. At least have of my birthdays I wished for a sister when I blew out my birthday candles. The years went by. I got older. My parents separated. I entered middle school. And I realized that I wouldn't get a little sister. I did have my brother, and I loved him (and still do), and clearly I was simply not going to get a sister. And if I did, if one of my parents eventually remarried and had another child, there would be such a gap - a decade and a half - that she would feel more like a niece than a sister. That prayer, it seemed, had gone unanswered.

A couple years went by. And then my dad met someone. She had a daughter. A sweet little blonde girl just seven years younger than me. My dad married this woman, and this little girl became my sister. She fit into a missing gap in my family dynamic that I never realized was there. My brother, sister, and I are all so different, but in a way that we all totally balance each other's differences out in the most sibling-like way. Not like "step-siblings." We aren't step-siblings. We are just siblings. 100%. My precious sister even looks just like my brother and I.

God answered my prayer.

But he didn't answer it how I expected. He didn't give me a biological sibling, and He didn't do so when I thought she should enter my life. Instead, He brought the little girl who I (and my family) needed as a sister into my life when He knew it needed to happen - which happened to be after I had given up on that prayer.

God is faithful.

He doesn't always answer our prayers how we expect them to be answered. Sometimes they are answered in ways that we would never, ever expect. Sometimes the answer isn't "yes" but "wait" or simply "no."

We don't like to hear "no." It hurts. Our plans and hopes can often be shattered by that tiny, yet gigantic two letter word. "No."

God has said "no" to some of my prayers. Many things that I prayed for haven't happened. But looking back now, in retrospect, I'm really glad He didn't answer those prayers. He clearly had a better plan. After all He is God. He created the universe, set up the laws of physics that if they were the tiniest fraction off would have left the universe without form and planets and life. He's a really big God.

So, surely He knows what He's doing when says no to our prayers, right?

I didn't think I would be at the college that I am. You can go back and read the posts from last spring when I was still deciding where to go. His hand was all over putting me here. But if you had told me, a year and a half ago, that I would be at this university, I would have fallen over laughing. My plans for my life did not involve this school at all.

But holy guacamole am I glad He put me here. So many little prayers have been answered in so many beautiful and amazing ways here. Even prayers that never made it into official, spoken prayers, but were simply the cries of my heart. God knew. He heard every cry, out loud and silent alike.

God is good.

He restores. He brings us, each of us - every single person (if you think I'm not talking to you, for whatever reason, because of whatever circumstances or beliefs you may have, you're wrong - I'm talking to you) - into the light. Light here meaning a better life. Easy and perfect? Nope. But far better than anything you or I can plan for ourselves. He calls us and guides us. We just have to listen and trust Him. Take the road that seems to make no sense because He knows what He's doing, guys.

God is faithful and good.

He hears your prayers.

And He answers your prayers. Always. Every time.