Have you ever felt like maybe God lost your prayer somewhere along the line, or he forgot to get back to you? I know I have.
One instance I remember is right after my mom had her second and very severe stroke. She became paralyzed on her left side and she could barely shift her body from the bed to a wheel chair, let alone stand or walk. I prayed for her to be healed (the whole church prayed for her to be healed).
I remember telling her I knew God was going to heal her and that she just needed to keep working on her physical therapy and she would be able to move again. I remember being her coach at physical therapy encouraging her to do her exercises and that all the pain and effort would be worth it. I wanted so much for her to be healed that I have to say in retrospect I was almost obnoxious.
It was a very difficult time for me because I wanted my mom back whole and well. I knew God wanted that, too. It didn’t sink in that maybe he had a different plan on how that might happen. One day I was watching a television movie on PBS and it was a story of a family trying to do whatever they could to heal their daughter of leukemia. As the movie was concluding and nothing was working the daughter looked at her pleadingly and said something like “I just want to spend the time I have left loving and enjoying being with you and daddy.” It was like God hit me upside the head with a 2X4. I felt he was saying to me “Stop trying so hard to fix something that is totally out of your control…leave that to me. Just enjoy every moment you have with your mom.”
From that moment on that is exactly what I did. Mom was only with us for about 4 months after that and then she was completely healed – as she went home to be with her Savior. But in those 4 months we had some of the best times. We walked around the neighborhood looking at all the beautiful trees, flowers, birds and butterflies (well I walked and pushed her in her wheelchair). We reminisced about all the things we had done together – we laughed, we cried, we hugged. It was some of the sweetest memories I have to this day. I praise God for the time we had together. (It was more than 15 years ago, but I still tear up even writing this.)
God’s answer to me was so different than I thought it would be, but it was so amazingly good.
P.S. This Sunday, Pastor Tim is coming back from an anniversary trip to Hawaii with Pastor Jackie. He’s going to share a message God has laid on his heart entitled “Unanswered Prayer?” It is going to be a message I would not want to miss. How about you?
Pastor Linda Skinner