Apparently Unanswered Prayer
by Deborah Taylor-Hough
I’ve learned a lot about God’s faithfulness through all of the changes and trials of my life lately. God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, but He does answer.
For example, I’d been praying for several years that God would send a man into my teenage son’s life to act as sort of a spiritual Mentor. My son had even said to me on several occasions that he feels he’s at an important time in his life when he needs to be learning what it means to grow into a godly, Christian adult man. But because of the degenerative brain disorder my husband suffers from, he isn’t able to be the example of a consistent adult man that our son needs.
Well, I’d prayed and prayed and PRAYED that God would send someone to my son… but you know what? He never did.
It was a bit unnerving. I knew I wasn’t praying or asking for a bad thing. I knew it was a need that not only I saw, but even my son was aware of for himself.
Several times, men had stepped forward who said they’d like to be that role model in my son’s life…but each time, they never followed through. They never did a thing. They never even talked to him. Good intentions don’t amount to much if they’re not followed through with action.
But one day as I was praying, I remembered the Psalm that says that God will be a Husband to the widow (Hooray! That’s what I needed for me!) and a Father to the fatherless. Suddenly it dawned on me that God actually was answering my prayer…that He, God Himself, was being that example to my son.
My son was seeking after the Lord as best he could, and the Lord was being faithful to teach him, step-by-step and need-by-need, how to grow up into the type of godly adult he desires to be. I’d been expecting God to send a flesh-and-blood person…but instead, God decided to show up Himself. I guess that isn’t a bad trade.
The answer to my prayer sure didn’t look the way I expected it to look--and it was quite a test of faith to believe God was still listening to my prayers when it had the appearance that He wasn’t doing anything at all about a huge need in our lives.
I’ll admit that I still keep praying for a flesh-and-blood Christian man to come forward…but if it doesn’t happen, at least I now know that God’s capable and willing to meet my son at his point of need.
~Debi (Deborah Taylor-Hough)
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