I have a confession to make. When it comes to faith, I find it a bit easier to trust God in the midst of my own struggles than it is to wait on Him to come to the rescue of someone I love.
I don’t know why this is, or if there are others who feel this same way. I just know I’m feeling it deeply right now. I don’t like to wait. I look up movie spoilers in the middle of the show. I always read the end of the book first.
Maybe it’s a control issue. Maybe it’s a trust issue.
Or maybe I’m just a finite human being who longs for a happy ending—and an easy way to get there.
I can’t make God answer my prayers in the way I want, when I want. I can’t force an outcome.
I’d like to, but I can’t.
I also can’t make other people respond how I might respond—or how I think I might respond—to any given trial. While God offers only one way to salvation, He relates to each mind and heart in a unique way, much like any other loving parent interacts with his or her children individually.
God’s plans for each of us are for our good—I truly believe that. Not in a cliche, pat-answer kind of way, but deep down—in that place where I trust His sovereignty even when the plans He unfolds don’t make any sense to me and might even seem to be the opposite of good.
I believe this, but as time drags on and nothing changes—at least nothing that’s readily apparent—I sometimes wonder.
What’s taking so long? What’s the point of all this? Is healing ever going to come?
I may be misinterpreting my own motivations here, but I honestly don’t think these questions stem from doubt or a lack of faith. They’re based on feelings, which are fickle. They ebb and flow, depending on all kinds of internal and external stimuli.
My faith, on the other hand, is based on a relationship with God, which is eternal. I believe every word of Jeremiah 32:17:
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
I know God could remedy in an instant the situations in which my loved ones find themselves. When He doesn’t, it makes me sad to see them struggling or suffering. To feel otherwise would be somewhat less than human, I think.
And sadness does not indicate an absence or lack of faith. Faith has nothing to do with feelings, in fact. According to Hebrews 11:1, it’s “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
I can’t see what’s going on behind the curtain, but I know there’s not a fake wizard back there. I believe that the God who is working in the lives of my loved ones is the same God who was with Jeremiah and all the other Old Testament prophets—the very same ones who wondered when God was going to act and yet wrote so eloquently about His compassion, protection, mercy and justice.
So while I keep praying for Him to move, my hope remains this: that “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.” (1 Peter 5:10)