Updated: Jan 18
I once heard that deep relationships are formed in an environment where it is safe to ask questions and share the contents of one's heart without the fear of repercussion. The Bible says in Hebrew 4:16 CEV to "have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace." God wants us to come boldly before him because he desires to be in deep relationship with us. It is safe to come to him no matter what state we find ourselves in.
Some years ago, I found myself in a difficult situation that caused my doubts about God’s existence to swell.
I had previously experienced two miscarriages and now was carrying a child where ultrasounds revealed he would be born with a left kidney full of cysts, a cleft lip and other complications that would prevent him from living past his twenties. If ever there was a time to come boldly before God, the time was at hand. Even in my growing doubt, I cried out to God and asked him to heal my baby. Initially, my tears of desperation were met with a shrilling void, like winter winds beating against the window. I wondered, “How could God be silent at a time like this?”
As my emotions went into a tailspin and my ears felt deaf to God’s voice, an indescribable peace intercepted my downward spiral and my tears immediately dried. I was a bit perplexed. What was this that had come over me? I knew this sudden hope, confidence, peace and faith were not my own! It was as if a holy wind captured and cradled me before my complete descent. I surrendered to the supernatural peace that filled all my senses. I knew this hope could be nothing short of God’s presence because my natural propensity was to prepare for the worst.
The next 25 weeks of my pregnancy crawled by, but I felt an uncanny assurance about the future of my child. With each passing month, additional ultrasounds confirmed my child’s original, doomful fate; and although fear would grip me during each appointment, the Spirit of God would move in even quicker with the sweet fragrance of his prevailing peace. I felt as if God was fighting for my mental and emotional space and was holding me in his fold with a loving Father’s grip. I also noticed his voice more often. He was likely speaking all along; I was just growing in my ability to discern his voice. Often, he would choose to converse with me, not through the audible words of men but with supernatural gifts of faith that melted pieces of my hard heart, bathing it in an abundant peace more powerful than the torrents of the storm I was facing. I needed every single ounce of it because I felt completely inadequate to face this trial in my human strength alone.
After a lengthy delivery, my husband was the first to catch a glimpse of our newborn son. Our little one’s tiny limbs shook in uncertainty as the chilly air brushed his skin for the first time. His lips were smooth and perfectly formed; no cleft lip in sight! After completing further tests, the doctors were confounded that his left cystic kidney had completely disappeared and his remaining kidney was perfectly normal. In fact, all complications were non-existent; the sentence of a short life expectancy was revoked! He was in perfect health! We named our son Jaedon, meaning, “Jehovah hears.” God did hear our prayers, and, in this instance, he answered in the way we hoped. Our faith in a loving God who sees and hears us grew beyond measure that day!
But what happens when our prayers seemingly go unmet?
And why don’t we always see healing when we pray? Is it still safe to ask questions and pour out your heart to God? Can your relationship with him continue to deepen when he doesn’t answer your prayers the way you want them answered? Pastor Rich Nathan offers some insights on why we don’t always see healing when we pray: “Because this present age is not the age to come – the age of the kingdom – when every disease will be healed, when nature will obey us and when no one will ever again be addicted. One day, when Christ returns, ‘the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.’ (Revelation 11:15) But that day is not yet here!”1 In 1 John 3:2 NIV, the Bible speaks of Jesus Christ’s return in this way, “... now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known [emphasis added]. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him...” Revelation 21:4 NIV goes on to tell us that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away [emphasis added]."
While we live in this tension of Christ’s kingdom being already here (Matt. 4:17) but not yet realized in its fullness, we can praise God for the times his power does break through.
And while we wait for all the ways he is going to completely set us free when he comes again, we can always come to him with our hurts, confusion and questions. Because sin entered the world through Adam and Eve centuries ago, humanity has continued to experience physical, emotional, mental and spiritual suffering; but, 2 Cor. 4:17 CEV encourages us that “These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.” And because of this, we can have an insurmountable hope for what’s to come!
My heart still overflows when I reflect on the divine healing my son Jaedon experienced; but I also long for that first embrace of my two miscarried children on the other side of eternity. I have to believe the joy of that moment will shatter the pain of their premature passing. What a day it will be!
Pause and ask God to help you recall some of the ways he has answered your prayers. Write down what he brings to mind.
What are some of your unanswered prayers? Write them down, lifting them up to God once again, and begin to thank him for the way his power will break through in those situations, whether it be now or in the age to come:
While you wait on God’s answers, keep your gaze fixed on Jesus.
He identifies with your sadness, fear, frustrations, impatience, etc. Jesus prayed to God the Father for humanity’s great rescue to come by any means other than the cross (Matthew 26:39). When his prayer was not granted in the way he hoped for, he went to Calvary willingly anyway, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world. Let faith arise in the face of pain and uncertainty; your Father in Heaven has good in store for you. Though life may have thrown you some difficult curveballs, Jesus is coming back and he will set all things right! If it’s not good, it’s not the end!
Let’s pray some of the lyrics from the song Giver of Faith: “I doubted your love in the midst of my pain. I doubted that hope would ever rise again. I held on to things that I thought promised more but I stumble to my knees again and again. Now I’m reaching to you, God. Revive this heart in me. Giver of Faith, please walk this life with me. Jesus, I trust, I trust, I trust where you’ll lead. Fill me with faith. Fill every part of me. Please light my way. Hold me in you. Oh, Giver of Faith” (Ephesians 2:8-9).