I remember sitting once in church, maybe about a year ago, and listening to the sermon. I can’t even remember who was preaching but I remember thinking about what the person had just opened my eyes to see – something that I should write about. This blog post was inspired from that sermon so here goes.
When my dad became ill and we found out he had lung cancer, I remember feeling like my whole world had come crashing down. How could he be sick? I could count how many times I had seen him ill, in my almost 30years at that time, on one hand. Other questions came rolling in; what about his good health? His fitness? How could someone who generally was healthy have stage 4 cancer? I remember saying to my colleague at the time, ‘Jamie, I need to go home’ because I couldn’t think straight. Jamie led me into one of the meeting rooms and let me cry because he knew I couldn’t drive just yet (thanks Jamie).
Anyway, fast forward a few weeks later and my dad is to start treatment. In the weeks to this point, my prayer has been the same. ‘Dear God, we need a miracle and we need You to heal him. He can’t die yet, I am not yet married, he has to walk me down the aisle, this cancer treatment is not sustainable as it is so expensive. Daddy, please heal my dad. Please, we need a miracle‘.
And then on December 6, 2012 at almost midnight, my dad went to meet Jesus and join the choir of heaven praising God – oh, he loved his music and singing in his lovely tenor voice so I bet he is in the choir. And then the pain hit like a ton of bricks! Amazingly, through it all, I did not ask God once why he didn’t get better. I cried for weeks and still do on occasion (I cried as I wrote this post) but my faith grew. Yes, I know; you are wondering how can your faith grow in the midst of unanswered prayers and grief? It grew because the Holy Spirit stayed with me through it all, letting me cry but holding my hand tight and showing me God’s amazing love.
And then one day, sometime last year, as I was talking to a colleague about God and how He works, God said ‘Remember you asked for your dad to be healed? I was like ‘Yes’. He said ‘well, I answered but his healing came in death’. At this point I smiled because I knew He was about to teach me something. He said ‘I am a God that answers prayer (Jeremiah 33:3) and I did answer, but not in the way you expected‘.
Many times we as Christians pray and expect God to answer. What we often don’t realise is that He will answer but not necessarily in the way that we expect. Many times, we expect Him to answer on our level or in the way that we would have done when He wants to answer on His level.
Let God answer you but be prepared to be blown away as He answers in his own way, in His own time and on His own level.