Devotionals Daily: A Year with Jesus

From Good Morning, Lord by Sheila Walsh

Today I will keep praying about the matter that you seem to be saying “no” to . . . because “Be with me” is more important than “Why?”

I’m sure it’s a mystery you’ve bumped up against more often than you would have liked. I’m talking about the great mystery and challenge of living with unanswered prayer when we know that God is both all-loving and all-powerful. After all, if God were just loving, then when our prayers went unanswered, we’d make peace with it by telling ourselves that if he were powerful, he would have intervened. Or if God were powerful but not loving, we would not be surprised that he didn’t respond to our pain. But God loves us with a passion that exceeds our understanding, and he is powerful enough to intervene in any situation, at any moment, and change our circumstances. Sometimes he does do that, but more often he does not.

Jesus Christ himself lived through his Father saying “no.” Remember Gethsemane? I reject with everything that is in me the argument that Jesus, fully God and fully man, knew the great joy and victory ahead and so didn’t mind knowing he would soon die an excruciatingly painful death on the cross. Jesus was fully man, and he suffered as a man would (although without sin­ning). He knew that his Father would not deliver him in this situation. But Jesus knew that even when God was telling him no, God was still with him. You and I learn that, too, when we keep praying despite God’s no. And as we keep praying, we move beyond “Why?” to “Be with me, Lord.” Confronting God with our why becomes being with God in our need.

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