Friday, November 30, 2012

Answers from Above


We've all been there... on our knees, pleading with God for answers, for help, for guidance. And we get nothing... just silence.

Or, we hear an answer that sounds too good to be true.

So is God really listening and answering our prayers? And are the answers we're hearing really coming from God?

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Example... your best friend is lying in a hospital bed, suffering and in horrible pain. The doctors keep trying, and loved ones stay close by praying. You're with those praying. You pray for God to make her well again, make it so she isn't in pain anymore. A few hours or days later, she dies. You curse God for not answering your prayer.

But, did he really ignore this prayer? Or was this his answer? He did as you asked - he made it so she isn't in pain anymore. He made it so she's at peace.

God answered the prayer, just not how you, as a selfish human, wanted him to answer.

Example... you're a teacher at a school, a school which is in dire need of help. You've tried. You've made some small successes. But you really only took this job because it was the only one available. It wouldn't have been your preferred choice. You pray to God for guidance. A new job offer comes to you shortly after your prayer. This job is what you wanted. It's a better school, in a city where you'd rather live. You praise God for answering your prayer.

But, did he really give this to you as an answer? Was this God's work? Was God truly helping you, and ignoring the needs and prayers of all those at the school whom you've taught and mentored and helped grow?

Maybe this was a test, to see if you, as a selfish human, would ignore the needs of the many by grasping at this opportunity.

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When we get the answer we want, we praise God for being there for us. When we get an answer we don't want, we believe either God isn't listening, or doesn't care. We refuse to see the answer before us, usually, because we don't like it. We don't truly look to determine if what we hear (or don't hear) is truly an answer from God or if it is just wishful thinking on our part. We are, by nature, selfish, and therefore will grasp onto what we want, and dismiss the rest, and answers to prayers are no different.

So how do we know if it's just wishful thinking, or if God truly has blessed us with an answer we like? How do we know if he's answered us at all? "Yes" answers are generally noticeable... "No" answers, we may not see, or may think he's ignoring us. "Wait" answers are the same... we don't know if God has truly heard and answered us. How can we truly know?

I have no clue. But, if anyone has any answers, please let me know...

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