Dear Younger Me,
When God doesn’t seem to answer your prayers, it can be hard. I know you’ve experienced that already. You understand that his answer won’t always be yes, that sometimes he says no and other times he wants you to wait, and sometimes you can understand why. It’s hard though when the thing you’re requesting is not merely a frivolous want, but a deep need.
You start to question if God really does know best, if he really has the power to help you, or if he’s even there at all. Living with unmet needs is never easy.
I want to reassure you – God is there, he does care, and he does have the power to help you. More than that, he knows exactly what you need. His ideas about that may not always be the same as yours, but you can trust him to have your best interests at heart.
“You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9-11 NLT)
There was a man who came to see Jesus, and it seemed that his need was obvious. He was unable to walk, so his friends had carried him across town on a mat, hoping that Jesus could heal him. Because so many people had come to see Jesus, the house was crowded so the man’s friends lowered his mat down through a hole in the roof.
Everyone in the crowd could see what the man needed, but, strangely, that wasn’t Jesus’ priority. He did heal the man, but only after he had dealt with the deeper need he had – to have his sins forgiven. The physical healing that followed became more than simply an amazing miracle; it became a sign pointing to Jesus’ identity as God.
Sometimes when God doesn’t deal with our obvious needs straight away, it is because he is doing deeper work. We are often concerned with our circumstances, but he is more concerned with our character. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about our circumstances, but they are not always his top priority.
Often the times when we’re waiting for an answer are the times when God reveals himself to us in a deeper way. He knows that what we really need is to know him more.
I’m not saying that I find this easy even now, but God knows what you need and he knows what he’s doing, so try to trust him – at least give him the benefit of the doubt!
This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019. Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided. Today the prompt is “need.” You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.