"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." (1 John 5:14-15)
How often throughout our lives when we tirelessly pray to God for a specific request we feel that despite our prayers we are left with nothing but "chirping crickets." Especially, now during the time of the Coronavirus and this Christmas season we may feel alone and abandoned when it seems that God is not listening or answering our prayers. We then turn and ask ourselves, "Why am I being met with silence?" I think many of us, if not all of us, have been there before when we fall into the depths of despair and hopelessness, and we see no light at the end of the tunnel, only more darkness. But the truth is that if we trust God wholly and completely, and believe that there is no power greater than God then we know that the outcome of our prayers will always be according to His Holy Will, whether it be His perfect or permissive Will.
“Although the threads of my life have often seemed knotted, I know, by faith, that on the other side of the embroidery there is a crown.” (Corrie Ten Boom, My Heart Sings)
The answer to our prayers may not be the answer that we had in mind, but we only see one side of the tapestry. Although the outcome of any given situation may be the result of injustice and unfairness, we must realize though that it is the outcome in the end that is God's Holy Will. Again, whether it be His perfect will or His permissive will, the reality is that either is still His Will. The journey towards eternal salvation is long and arduous, with much tears and suffering, and incredible heartache. On the road we travel we can be left with deep wounds and scars, but it is because of the Lord's endless Love that He shares His Cross with us, which unites us to Him through our pain and suffering. We know that the final destination is Heaven, where we will spend eternity with our Heavenly Father, Who infinitely loves us. He sends us trials and tribulations throughout our lives so that we can become saints, who have been purified with our hearts made ready for Him.
None of us like the feeling of losing control, but there are times when we can do nothing else, but leave the result of a situation up to God. We must place our confidence in the Lord, and simply let go. We kneel down upon the blood-stained ground beside our agonizing Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane, and as we gaze upon His Holy Face we utter these words together, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42)
God always listens to our prayers, and answers them. The outcome may not always be what we expect or even what our heart desires, but He knows what is best for us even when we think we know better. If a parent knows what 'good gift' to give his child, how much more than does the Heavenly Father know what 'good things' to give us who ask Him? (Matthew 7:11) When we are little children how often do we excitedly unwrap a Christmas gift only to find it is not the gift we wanted or expected at the time? But is it not true that the gift we are given is one that is presented to us with great love? The gift we receive from God, although it may be undesired or unexpected at the moment, is given to us in infinite Love. God always responds to our requests with Love, and we need to delight in our sweet crosses; the precious gifts from Heaven, that are chosen uniquely for us. As we continue to press on, trudging through the storms of life, let us remember to keep our gaze fixed upon the Face of Christ, Who continues to lead us to Paradise.