When You Can’t Pray It Away

“Prayers go up Blessings come down.”

I saw that on a church sign the other week and I kind of cringed. Not because it isn’t true, but because it is misleading. Instead, they should have put “Prayers go up Answers come down.”

Not always what we want. Not always when we want. Sometimes, it seems like nothing comes down at all. Like God left and didn’t even leave a recording telling us to leave a message so He can get back to us later.

John 11:1-6 “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”

Did you catch that? I never did until a Bible study I recently finished pointed it out. When Jesus heard that Lazarus (whom he loved) was ill, He didn’t get up and rush out to go heal him and comfort his sisters. Instead, he stayed where He was at for two more days.

After Jesus arrives, Mary falls at His feet and says “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The Jews questioned Him, if he could heal the blind shouldn’t he be able to heal the dying? (Verses 32-37)

But Jesus had greater plans than to just heal a dying Lazarus. He wanted to bring to life a dead Lazarus! A dead Lazarus who had been buried for 4 days (verse 39). Jesus’ timing is perfect. There is always a reason. It may not seem like a good reason to us, but it is a reason that works out for our own good. No, Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus. But he did raise him from the dead.

Whenever Lazarus had died, and Jesus had still not shown up to heal him, I am sure Mary was heartbroken. Her hope was in Jesus, and He had seemingly, at the time, let her down. There are a lot of times I feel like Mary felt whenever her brother died, and Jesus never showed.

There are times when I will pray, about things that I know I can’t “pray away”. Or times I will pray about things and they just don’t go away.

When I can’t pray away the death in my family

When I can’t pray away the mistakes I have made in the past

When you can’t pray away the rejection from you job, friends, family…

When you can’t pray away the person you used to be

When you can’t pray away the test results from the doctor

There is one thing I know to do when I can’t pray it away… Pray anyways.

Even though God didn’t take away my difficult circumstances, I still pray. Even though I miscarried and I can’t pray away that it ever happened, I can still pray.

And praying has become my number one comfort. Because He is my only hope.

Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope in Him.”

 

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It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog post on how I can hope in a God who hurts me.
I had no idea after writing that post that I would miscarriage. 

How Can I Hope In A God Who Hurts Me

But even through this,  which has been the most heartbreaking thing I have ever been through, I can still look back and read that post and say I do still hope in God. 

Everyone has been telling me that God has a plan, He wants the best for me, He knows what He is doing… And it is true. And I am grateful for everyone who loves me, reminding me of His love for me. But through this I have learned that even though I do have a hope, that I do know God is still good, that I will one day see my baby, I have learned that it is still okay for me to be sad. I’m not okay, and it is fine. 

I cry because I am heartbroken but at the same time I know that God has the best in mind for me and Tj, that He loves me with a love I can’t wrap my mind around. I know this, I believe this with all my heart and I am still sad.

I cry because God took away my baby, but at the same time, My hope lies in Him alone.

Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.”

Maybe you haven’t experienced what I have, maybe you lost a loved one, maybe you have a prodigal child, maybe you lost your job, whatever it is, you can trust in God 100% and still be sad. And for me, that has been one of the most comforting things.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”

It’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes there are no words that can make your situation better. Sometimes all you can do is cry, and that’s okay.