What if beginning tonight, God did not answer one single prayer of yours as you had requested? For example, that friend with cancer; they died. That job you needed; someone else was given the position. That spouse who is persistently unkind to you, continues to be nasty (or becomes increasingly nasty). That beloved family member who is addicted to alcohol continues to drink their way down the drain. What if? What if? That’s when a faith walker has a decision to make, if she is going to decide to put on what I call “big girl pants”.
Yes, delightful things may come along your way, but that wonderful answer may often end up having its own problems. For instance, the person you have prayed through thick and thin regarding their alcohol addiction has accepted Jesus and is faithfully attending AA meetings, but now is dying due to the years of substance abuse. Or what about that new job you prayed and prayed about in order to meet your family’s financial needs but after three months you feel like throwing in the towel due to your new boss’ problems with rage. Maybe even worse, your spouse is finally acting nice to you but you have discovered it is due to their guilt because they are having an affair.
What do you do with that? If you read the prophet Habakkuk’s response, it can make you particularly uncomfortable because it involves choosing to not remain the victim. Habakkuk lived in an agrarian society where farming was essential. In Habakkuk 3:17 the prophet writes about a farmer’s worst nightmare: “Even if the fig tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit on the vines, if the yield of the olive fails, and the fields produce no food, even if the flock disappears from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls”. What if you are not getting what you want and think you need? Are God’s calendar and planning off base because the Farmer’s Almanac says the rains are due? In the celestial planning meeting, did God get confused? What do you do when you are on your knees before heaven and you just don’t see that answer you are looking for? Please read Part 2 of this blog later this week. There is an answer!