Sunday, April 28, 2013

When God Doesn't Come Through

When God doesn’t answer your prayer as you had hoped and you wind up disappointed, is that disappointment in Him or in you?  Even if we say, “I’m just disappointed that things didn’t turn out the way I wished”, we’re really saying, “God didn’t come through for me”, aren’t we?  But that goes contrary to everything we know about God.

In teaching His disciples about the need to be persistent in prayer (Luke 11:5-13), Jesus compared the heavenly Father to a good earthly father, answering the request of a child specifically and getting it right.  He said that if we ask for fish we won’t be given a snake, or if we ask for an egg He won’t give us a scorpion.  Snakes and scorpions not only are very different from what was asked for, they are harmful to our well-being.  God doesn’t operate like that.

And in that same context Jesus told His followers to not give up praying, even when it might seem like He wasn’t hearing or interested.  He does and He is.  But sometimes our persistence in not giving up proves to Him (maybe more so to us) that some things are worth the wait. 

Many of you are familiar with my daughter-in-law’s current plight to get her second double lung transplant, without which (barring a miracle) she will die.  Along with my son, she has been living in temporary quarters near Duke University Hospital for over six months, working hard to be found strong enough for placement on the transplant list.  “Strong enough”, because such a surgery exacts a tremendous strain on the body, and she’s very sick.

The setbacks over the six months have been many, with multiple disappointments.  But, last week she received the much prayed for news that she was being reactivated on the transplant list to receive new lungs.  And her current status, being as poor as it is, placed her at or near the top of the list.  Great news!  Answered prayers! 

Saturday morning they were awakened with “the call” from Duke: lungs are on their way.  They quickly drove to the hospital and waited in pre-op for the final “OK” that the lungs were suitable and the surgery would take place.  Shortly after noon they got the word: “The transplant is a ‘go’.”  In fact they told us via Skype from the pre-op room.  It seemed that prayer was being answered affirmatively as well, just days after being listed. 

But within a few minutes the transplant team found some reason why the donated lungs would not be good for her.  Who knows why, and that’s really not so important.  Their knowledge of the lungs and of Tricia’s particular needs led them to come to the conclusion, as difficult as it was, that these lungs would not be a good match for Tricia.   She would go “home” without precious lungs and continue the wait for who knows how long. 

God is that “who”.  Not only does He know, but because she is one of His children, He has a divine plan for whatever remains of her life.  Receiving new lungs on Saturday, April 27 was not part of that plan.

Disappointing?  From our human wish-list position, “Yes”.  No one wants to see her continue to suffer for every breath one more day.  Everyone wants her to be able to return home and be a full-time mommy again.  We all just want her better. 

Jesus told his disciples to keep knocking at the door.  Keep asking God to work the deal.  Keep seeking until the answer is found.  So, that’s where we picked up on Saturday.  God has something different in mind.  That won’t silence our prayers at all.  It just means we’ll continue to seek Him.  And in His time that prayer will be answered as He sees best, because He is God and we are not. 

And whether we like His answer or not, He always comes through.


Vivian said...

thank you for these uplifting words. praying for her and the family.

LJR said...

I was sad when I found out the lungs wouldn't be Tricia's. But being sad and being disappointed are two different things. I know and trust that God has a plan for all of us, including her, and that his timing and his will in our lives will be done, not our will and on our timeline. So I wasn't disappointed because I know I can sit back and watch him work through Tricia and her life and that is a glorious thing. But being human my heart was a bit sad because I really hoped it was THE day for her. I have prayed every day for her since I "met" them online a few years ago and I will continue to pray. Their family's story is such an inspiration and their faith is beautiful to watch.

shrommy said...

Thank you for this encouraging post. I am not facing medical problems to the degree of you daughter in law but I am facing some which causes me to be severe pain on a regular basis. I am really struggling with this recently and have begun to question God. This was great to read and has made me think. I am praying for your son, daughter in law and the rest of your family!

Liz said...

Powerful! Praying for Tricia!!