Ugly Answers to Prayer
by Sue Golchehreh
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I have a list of people I pray daily for. I must admit that I spent much of this week arguing with God about this list and what He was or wasn't doing for "my" people.
In the midst of my arguing with Him, I get a phone call. It is my friend, Pat*. I had called her earlier in the week to catch up by walking together. When I see her name on the caller ID, I answer the phone "Buenos Dias!", nothing......then, as though each word was as though it was her last,escaping breath, she sobbed that she needed to talk to me. Oh, she couldn't have picked a worse time. I had to get my daughter from the airport in 1/2 an hour. I asked her what could be so wrong, and she told me she didn't want to talk on the phone. "Okay, I'm here waiting for you." By her desperation, I knew it was one of two things, her husband having an affair, or her health. I had her come with me to the airport, and she told me her story.
She had gotten a call from her doctor's office because she had an STD. Turns out, her husband had been having an affair for the last 4 years. What to say to her? We talked about what the "right now" things were she would need to do....get thoroughly checked by her doctor for other STDs, check bank accounts, call her Rabbi, etc.
After she went home, I was really mad at God. "How can it be, that I pray for these people every day, and you give me affairs and STDs? Is that how you answer my prayers?" You see, it's okay to ask Him these questions. It's okay to be angry at sin. If we don't ask questions, and sin does not make us angry, we are not growing.
My friend calls the next day. She has spoken with her Rabbi, and is sorting things out. She has a plan B. She asks my opinion about whether to tell her family. I feel unqualified to have her ask my opinion. I mean, who am I? This is a woman who graduated from an Ivy League college. And, she's asking my opinion?!
Then, I ponder this. Well, I did have them on my prayer list. And they had been having trouble for some time in their marriage. Of all the people she could have called, she called me. Is this God's answer to my prayers? Did He hear my prayers? Oh, you bet He did. He may not have answered them in the way I would have liked, but God doesn't do what we like. He does what we need to grow in Him, and in our faith.
Proverbs 3:6 says....In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.
If you think He's not listening because prayers are not answered the way you want, know that God sees the beginning to the end, and were we able to see what He sees, we would not choose any other way.
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"... know that God sees the beginning to the end," This was such a blessing -- thank you -- and may God continue to bless the words you share. Love in Christ, Pat
His ways are not our ways. It is hard for us to recognize His answers to our prayers at times, we just need to trust Him. Very good article. God bless.