Do the Scriptures sometime seem to come back and slap you in the face? It almost felt that way this morning as I reviewed a verse that had been an anchor in 1990. A time of decision of belief. A crisis of faith as some may say.
Our 5 year-old son had endured a year of treatments for cancer. A second biopsy revealed the cancer returned or hadn’t been eradicated. Either way, my prayer for my son had not been answered as I had hoped, asked, trusted and believed for. No miracle of healing by God. No cure by man. It was still there threatening our son’s life. What will I do in face of this heartbreaking news?
What does this mean about Scriptures and their truth of message? Are they wrong, untrustworthy? Are they fables or myths not to be believed? Or. Could it be they are much richer and meaningful than my finite mind is capable to comprehend? As the Psalmist wrote about the knowledge of God: “…(it) is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand.” Psalm 139:6
Do I abandon my belief in God? Call him a liar and declare it all a myth because things did not go as I desired? Or do I stick it out because He IS God?
I have few specific memories of events at that time. But, I do have a 3×5 card in front of me with a verse written on it and a dated note: 2nd Biopsy around Aug. 1990. I also have journals. One of them probably has more written in it, but honestly at the moment I cannot face going any further with details. And I really don’t need to – just sitting here holding that card in my hand tells me enough.
Today, 28 years later, I did not abandon God, nor did He abandon me. Even though in my human weakness and frailty, I allow myself to be so overcome with life that I occasionally allow circumstances to make me feel abandoned. Hence, the almost sting of a slap as I read the verse. And remembered the prayers that hadn’t been answered then. And thinking of the so many more prayers being prayed for loved ones now.
Will they be answered as hoped, and asked or not? I do not know. What I do know is I shall keep trusting God and praying as I did then. Because even if NO prayers of mine are directly answered, ever – that alone does not negate God. It does NOT mean there is no God. More likely it means I just don’t understand the full scope of things. As God, He IS all knowledge and sovereign. I. AM. NOT. And at the end of this life, I shall not be disgraced or shamed because I trusted Him. For in Him is eternal life. The only answered prayer that is essential in life and death terms is the one where an individual confesses with their mouth the Lord Jesus and believes in their heart that God raised Him from the dead – then that person will be saved. And the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10:9-13)
As a child, our son, Aaron called. Jesus saved. He is now with the Lord.
How could I not continue to set my face like a flint still. Even as it seems other prayers seem to remain unanswered for those of us still here.
What initially felt like a slap to the face is what my enemy Satan wanted me to feel. What was it actually?
A firm, loving grasp of my Lord’s 2 hands as he turned ‘my whole face’ towards HIM to remind me where my trust is placed.
What will I do now in face of these current seemingly unanswered prayers for my loved ones? Will I turn away and dismiss God as a fable? NO. Will I continue to pray and trust my sovereign God? YES. Wholeheartedly yes.
I will set my face like a flint and I KNOW I will not be put to shame.
There is coming a day… Hallelujah! And I shall see Jesus as HE is for I TOO shall be like Him. Place your trust in HIM and you shall see HIM too. And shall not be put to shame.
Until next time keep calm and pray on!