Garth Brooks has a song, “Unanswered Prayers.” I like Garth, but he got that one wrong. There are no unanswered prayers. We just may not get the answer we hope for. “No,” is as much of an answer as, “Yes”. Further, sometimes the answer is, “Wait”.
In the case of the prayer I recorded during the first part of last year, the answer was, “No”.
Reading the prayer, I had a visceral reaction. My gut tightened up, I bent over, and began to weep. The pain and confusion is still very real. From where I sit, “No,” made no sense, no sense at all. It does not matter how I parse the situation, from whatever angle it is contemplated, the continuing confusion, pain, and constant reminders of the answer, do not compute.
There are two things that sustain faith for me when these forceful reminders hit. First, I know without any shadow of doubt that God loves us, loves me, loves all who were and are continually impacted by the “No”.
Second, my experience with other, “Nos,” helps me to know that I can trust Him. Some of those have resolved into understanding over the years. Some have not. But I know based on both experience and the testimony of His Word than I can trust Him.
For this one, in this life, I may never understand.
But I know that He loves me, and I trust Him. But, it still hurts.