Faith and Grief: On The Other Side of An Unanswered Prayer
I wanted to write this blog post as a follow up to the Faith and Grief - Navigating the Loss of a Loved One blog post.
When you're first in the face of an unanswered prayer, it's really easy for your faith to take a hit - mine did.
I think the main thing that allowed me to get to the other side was being honest with myself about my feelings and most importantly being honest with God about them. This created room for God to help me heal from the disappointment and anger I felt, especially towards Him.
I used to hear the phrase "God is not a genie" often in the Christian world, and I thought I understood it. But it wasn't until my faith was tested in this season that I truly understood the meaning of that phrase.
God is not a genie with the obligation of bringing your requests to pass.
Telling God what to do is not praying.
Seeking God and trusting that regardless of the outcome - God's will is working out for your good and His glory, is.
When you are in the face of an unanswered prayer - this obviously doesn't do anything for you. It instead makes you question what the point of praying was in the first place.
But if your only motive for praying is what you can get out of God, you're treating Him like a genie.
Our motive for praying should be communion with God, and deeper intimacy with Him.
Yes, we're told to ask and we shall receive but according to His will, which is the part we often forget about.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask-- we know that we have what we asked of him." ~ 1 John 5:14-15
Ultimately, our loved ones are God's children first.
Yes, we love them dearly and want them to stay here with us for as long as possible.
But the truth is - we're all going to die someday, leaving some of our loved ones behind.
Not when we choose to, but when God allows it.
And if He allows it, we have to remember that He gets to call His children back home when it's time.
If you're currently navigating grief, hoping to get to the other side of your unanswered prayer, I pray this encourages you that you will get through this.
You will still hurt for the loss of your loved one, but you will have more peace with God's will to call them home.