Thankful that God Answers My Prayers
I just remember going crazy with worry.
My family had woken up at 4am to be to the hospital by 6. We were exhausted. My mother had been diagnosed with a very large brain aneurysm and was going in for the brain surgery that would ultimately save her life.
I remember her name being called and watching my parents leave the waiting room to begin preparing for the surgery. I remember my dad coming out and telling us that her surgery would last around 8-12 hours. I remember that moment we all breathed a sigh of relief that she was out of surgery. We knew that this journey had a real chance of not ending well. She had a high risk of dying during surgery, so when we knew that she was out of the operating room, we were relieved.
You see, they had announced that she was out of surgery and being put into a room at around 8pm. By around 10, they had closed the waiting room we had spent the day in and they moved us to a different waiting room. By around 11pm, we had sat around for three hours without an update. I was going crazy. The constant questions of, “Why is it taking so long?” Three hours is a long time to move someone into a room and get them situated!
Our minds began to wander. Was she ok? Had something happened?
As I sat there, I felt myself just getting angrier and angrier. The waiting room they moved us to didn’t have a desk with someone at it for us to ask questions of. There was a phone in the corner that they summoned you on. That’s all we had! No update. No word. No explanation. Just a phone that would ring for others to answer. Had there been a face available, we would have made our inquiries and continued to patiently wait. Without a person to ask questions of, I went crazy. My patience was dwindling and if the hospital’s representative had walked into the room, I would have given them a piece of my mind.
Instead, I prayed. My mind began to imagine various scenarios and I just prayed. I wanted to be released from the wait. I wanted to move beyond the waiting to the action.
Isn’t it strange that it’s so easy to pray for miracles when it’s obvious that we have absolutely no control over a situation?
I prayed. I prayed hard. I prayed for miracles, despite being told that, “there was a chance ____.” And you know what, God worked miracles. He worked miracles that I wasn’t expecting or anticipating.
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Sitting in that hospital and going crazy with worry, there was a showdown taking place. There was a showdown between my trust in God and my worry. It wasn’t unlike another showdown that takes place in the Bible.
Read 1 Kings 18:20-40
Here, we read of a showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. There were two camps: Elijah who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the prophets of Baal. When they prayed, which deity would answer? Which was real? Spoiler, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was real.
When God answers my prayer, I know He hears me. One of my favorite TV shows (MASH) has a scene between Father Mulcahy and a soldier who truly believes that he is Jesus Christ. Father Mulcahy asks this soldier about unanswered prayers and the soldier responds, “Sometimes the answer is no.” It’s one scene that always gets me because even when God answers no to my prayers, He’s still answering my prayers. He is still doing His best for me. Answering no to my prayers isn’t the same as not answering my prayers.
When God answers my prayer, I know He is a personal God. Sometimes it’s so easy to believe that God is way far out there somewhere, as we point to the clouds. We might even believe that God is too far away to help me with my problems, care about my needs, or give thought to alleviating my burdens. That is the opposite of the truth. God is close. God cares about us, even more, the birds in the air or the grass and trees in a field. God is close enough to hear our whispers, hear our cries, bottle up our tears, and lift our defeated heads.
When God answers my prayer, my faith is increased. If God answered my last prayer, what’s stopping Him from answering my next prayer? Sometimes my prayers are kind of small and insignificant, but when God answers those prayers then I’m likely to ask Him for something bigger. Recently, I was thinking about my mom and how sometimes I just ask God to do the minimum. I ask God to simply make her happy rather than asking God to do what the doctors say is impossible. God is the God of the impossible, right? Nothing is too hard for Him. So why am I not asking Him to do the impossible things that He says aren’t too hard for Him to accomplish?
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Just like that showdown between Elijah and the prophet’s of Baal, God has proven Himself to be real and present. God sat in that waiting room with my family and me. He never left our side and He has yet to leave our side. He came in close while I worry and fretted and when the news wasn’t what we wanted to hear. He answered our prayers by sparing her life and by strengthening all of us for the road ahead. God has proven Himself to be close and not distant and far away. God cared about our burdens, our tears, our moments of defeat.
I’m so thankful that He answers prayers, aren’t you?