Friday, January 17, 2014

Hidden in the "No"~

I will never forget the conversation I had with an elderly lady several years ago.

We were seated next to one another at a conference on prayer. After the last session, as everyone was packing up their Bibles and leaving the room, she leaned over and asked, "Do you believe in prayer?"

"Yes. I do," I replied.

"I don't," she stated matter-of-factly.

Her answer caught me off guard - so off guard, in fact, that before my mind had time to pray about a response, my mouth blurted out, "You don't? Why not?" As we sat back down, she told me her story.

The love of her life, her husband of 30+ years, had found another love. He made no excuses, just an honest, "I don't love you anymore" followed by divorce papers and an empty side of the closet where his clothes once hung. For years, (40+ years I discovered), she had prayed night and day for God to bring her husband back home.

"It wasn't that he was wonderful at being a husband, because he certainly was not. But, he was mine. You understand, don't you, dear? He was mean, uncaring, selfish, but he was mine. All these years, I have prayed. And, all these years my prayers have gone unheard by God, and unanswered. I used to believe in prayer, but not any more. Not now. It's obvious God doesn't care about me."

"From what you've told me, this man caused you heartache and grief even before he left you. Why would you want him back in your life? I'm sure the way he treated you must have hurt God's heart. Have you ever stopped to think that God loves you SO MUCH he chose not to subject you to that abuse any longer? Maybe what you think is God saying "no" is actually God saying "I want so much better for you."

Her eyes filled with tears and for a moment she turned away from me. Then, she reached out, took hold of my arm and began sobbing uncontrollably.

"I never thought of it like that. Why haven't I ever thought of it like that? All these years I've been so angry at God for not listening, for not answering, for not caring. Maybe God was hearing me, after all. Maybe, just maybe, he was watching out for me, in spite of me. Thank you."

And with that, she darted out of the room.

40+ years this women had allowed a broken relationship to hold her prisoner. 40+ years this woman had allowed bitterness and anger to rob her of her relationship with God.

I'll never forget our conversation.
I'll never forget her tears.
I'll never forget the look in her eye when she saw God's heart in a new light - the light of His love for her, in spite of her anger, in spite of her bitterness, in spite of her pleas.

Our God loves us like no one ever has or ever will.
When we don't understand His ways,
when we don't get our way,
when we pray and pray and pray
and feel as though God doesn't care, HE DOES.
All the time, more than we can ever know or ever imagine,
He does.

Disguised in what appears to be silence is a love that we can't even begin to comprehend. Hidden in "no" is often a merciful, tender, "I want so much better for you".

Does God hear our prayers? Every single one.
Does God answer our prayers? Every single time.
Do I believe in prayer? Yes, I do.~♥

(I felt impressed to re-post this from April 12, 2013. Maybe God had YOU in mind.) 

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1 comment:

  1. oh wow...40 years of bondage! so heartbreaking. sometimes it's all in our's no important to KNOW who God is and what He wants for us, what His word says about us.
    thanks for sharing :)


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