Note: The first part of this series of posts is taken from a my journal with a few details removed for my family’s privacy. All quotations are by C.S. Lewis, thus only the respective books are cited after each excerpt.
“We must lay before him what is in us; not what ought to be in us.” – “Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer”
I’m not as angry at God (at the moment). I realized this morning how patient He is with me. I think I want something, whether it is the job __ , or ___’s love. I thought those things were it: the best, God’s best, God’s gift to me. I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect than that person and that job. Then they slipped through my fingers.
I’m now in the middle of possibilities so wonderful there is no comparison to my previously thought “best”. And, being a silly human, I think, “Surely this is it! It’s perfect! There’s nothing else I could want. This is the fulfillment of all my dreams. I’ll take this, please.”
“If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life, where should I be now?” – “Letters to Malcolm”
Perhaps these hopes will come true. Only time will tell. But I must somehow remember, if this doesn’t play out as I hope, that God sees the whole picture. I can’t. Press forward. Forget what lies behind. Strain upward (Philippians 3:13). Further up and further in (“The Last Battle”)!
But it hurts more to live with an unanswered prayer than with a disappointment never prayed about.
God, You know how much I want this. There are Very Good Things here. It’s almost impossible not to dream…I want so badly I’m crying. The ache is so deep.
“God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.” – “The Problem of Pain”
But You know all. You see all–including the hearts of everyone else involved in this situation. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m not strong enough to hold to this on my own–and I’m afraid to ask You for anything. Then the verse about You giving good gifts (Matthew 7:11) comes to mind.
But it hurts more to live with an unanswered prayer than with a disappointment never prayed about. Does anyone else think it hurts less to see a hope go unfulfilled if you didn’t pray and agonize over it? Perhaps all I’m doing is pretending I don’t care what happens–when I really do care so much sometimes I can’t breathe.
Often I am successful at convincing everyone I don’t care. Sometimes it feels like God doesn’t care either. Most of all, I’m fighting not to go numb and indifferent out of self-preservation.
Unanswered prayer may be the stimulus to the most significant breach possible in our relationship with God. No, I take that back. One thing is worse: experiencing senseless evil and God not enacting justice.