When I was in Kindergarten, I would go to my cubbyhole, stick my head in it, and whisper prayers to the Lord. My most frequent request was for God to please, PLEASE send my mom to pick me up so i wouldn’t have to ride the bus home. So many times, his answer was “no”, and I would have to trudge outside to catch my bus. But sometimes…sometimes…He said yes. And then–Oh, and then! I would run outside to our little car, praising God for hearing my prayer! And although my view of God (and my prayers!) have certainly changed since Kindergarten, there’s still this part of me that aches for God to show me that He hears me when I pray.
A young mom at our church was diagnosed with a brain tumor a few weeks ago. The doctors said there was nothing they could do, and just last night she slipped into a comma. I’ve never even met her, although she is friends with a few of my friends. But it is a tragedy. Sheer tragedy. She is my age and has a husband and a two year old daughter.
So I’m praying. I’m asking God to do big things. I want him to heal her. I want him to show us a miracle. I want him to bring her out of this fire so that she can praise him the rest of her days and sing of his glory! I want him to show her…and me….that He is GOD. Not just an old man sitting high in the sky, listening to our petty requests. No! I want him to come like the rushing wind, with the voice of thunder, surrounded by blazing white light! I want him to prove to us that He is still the God of miracles, that He is HEALER and ALMIGHTY.
But as I pray, sometimes I still feel like that little girl, surrounded by doubt, wondering if my words even matter. Wondering if they are heard or if they are simply falling, like my tears, into my pillow. I don’t have answers. I don’t have visions or assurances or guarantees. He may heal her. Or he may not. And I’ll never know why. But I’m reminded of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, who before they were thrown into a fiery furnace, looked up at the king who was sentencing them to their deaths and said, “Our God IS able to deliver us. But even if he does not, we will never worship another.” And God brought them through the fire, unscathed and unharmed. And HIS name was glorified.
I do not know His plan. I have no guarantee that He’s listening. All I have is His Word and His spirit to guide me. And so I pray. I pray and I pray and I pray and I pray. Although I may not be the same little girl, praying in a cubbyhole, HE is the same God. And although my experience may not be the same as three men who were thrown into a fire, HE is the same God. And He IS able to deliver.