“Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer?”

“But Mommy, if I prayed for her head to get better, why didn’t God answer my prayer?”

My family recently went through a devastating tragedy. Without going into specific details, it involved a kayaking accident, six attempts at CPR, a Medevac flight, and a 2 week medically induced coma. And finally, the worst thing of all, machines being turned off and a loved one passing away.

Those two weeks were brutal. Waiting and wondering, wondering and waiting. Praying nonstop, and trusting nonstop. “God can move mountains,” we’ve all heard. 

But what happens when God doesn’t move those mountains? What happens when the loved one passes away? Or when God doesn’t provide a baby for someone struggling with infertility? Or God doesn’t heal the debilitating disease? 

What then?

The question at the top came from my 6-year-old cousin. And to be honest, even at 35 years old, I still don’t know the answer.

Our minds are finite, so we will never be able to understand the purposes, decisions, or ways of an all-knowing and all-powerful God. His ways are not our ways, and He may have a purpose for an event or hardship that we will never fully understand.

Days, months, years down the road we may come to understand why God chose to answer a prayer differently than we had hoped. But the truth is, we have to accept that He is still good even if we never know why He allowed something to happen or not happen. 

Can we trust an unknown future to a known God? That’s the ultimate question. Are we asking God to be a genie in a bottle and fulfill our wishes and desires? Or are we willing to surrender our desires to a good and perfect God who knows our good better than we ever could?

Trusting God in all circumstances, good or bad, is a lot easier said than done. When you’re not in the middle of a hardship, it’s easy to say you will always trust God and believe in his goodness.

It’s when we’re in the middle of grief, devastation, and unknowns that our ability to trust in those words will really come under fire. And I don’t know about you, but I really pray and hope I can stand firm in my faith and continue to trust God’s goodness, even when I don’t understand it.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts…My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55: 8,9,11

This article originally appeared in the Xenia Daily Gazette, but all rights are reserved to me.