Unanswered prayers or unlikely answers

Several years ago Ashby life was turned upside down when she lost her husband. I joined a Facebook group committed to praying for Ashby and her son Trooper. What a privilege it has been to watch God reveal Himself to her in the darkest of seasons and truly create beauty from ashes. She recently shared this note in the group. I loved what she shares about Daniel in Lions Den and think we can all relate in different seasons. Thanks Ashby, for sharing your journey and always pointing us back to the One who fights for us.

Ashby is a stay at home mom to two boys and is a big fan of scuba diving, kombucha and wedge heels. The the most important thing about her is that she was rescued by the greatest Warrior of all time and has proclaimed His goodness through the hardest season of her life. While five and a half months pregnant with her first son Trooper, Ashby was suddenly widowed. She watched God fight for her as he carried her and wiped away her tears. He held her when she cried. He held her when she screamed. He held her when she was afraid. He held her when she was depressed. He held her when she wanted to die - but he sweetly reminder her she had a reason to live. The Jesus she had known for years became more important to her because she got to know Him better than she ever had before. Five years later, she has remarried and incredible French carpenter and they recently had another son name Boaz. She still has hard days but her life is FULL of good days.

"We don’t always know what to pray for/ask for. My son, Trooper, asks for macaroni and cheese at every. Single. Meal. As his parent, I know that would not give him the necessary nutrients to help his body and mind function or grow. He doesn’t ask for a spinach salad but he unknowingly gets one in his “chocolate smoothie” because I know what’s best for him. The same goes for us.

The Lord is sometimes less concerned with our comfort and more concerned with our character. Less concerned with our happiness and more concerned with our holiness. What we often don’t see, is that a strong character and holiness lead to true joy and happiness. Sometimes we get loved on from the most unlikely sources and transformed from the most unlikely experiences. Sometimes we get an answer we didn’t want only to realize He knew best all along. Sometimes we think He doesn’t hear us at all and that our prayers go unanswered when in reality they were just answered in a way we weren't expecting. Our greatest mistakes can often be from being unable or unwilling to see and be grateful for the answer we never thought to ask for.

As I was writing this, my precious friend Kim called and we were sharing what has been going on in our lives the last few months. She told me that during one particular experience, the story of “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” (Daniel chapter 6) resonated with her in a new way. She was praying for something to go a particular way that it didn’t. But when all was said and done, she saw that she was cared for and preserved the whole time, much like Daniel. She said I’m sure Daniel prayed that he would not be thrown into the lion’s den at all but he was. I’m sure he prayed once he was in there that the lion’s would die so they wouldn’t eat him but they didn’t. But God DID preserve him. He sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions and he came out of that den completely unscathed. He was cared for through the entire ordeal, just in a unique way. 


Isn’t that often how it goes? He does not necessarily take us out of the stressful experience but He always beautifully and creatively answers us in a way that shows we are cared for, preserved and loved. What if we prayed without a specific answer or solution in mind? What if we brought Him our request or problem and asked Him to do what He wanted in that situation? I wonder if it wouldn't alleviate a sense of frustration or disappointment and instead release a feeling of joy and excitement as to what He might do.

Unanswered prayers or unlikely answers. Look for the ways He loves you. “Like a tidal wave washing over me” is a lyric from a song that so describes the imagery of His fierce love for us. His love can look different. Christ’s love for us cost Him His life but gave us ours. When we are tempted to look at a situation where He seems silent or the answer isn’t coming as quickly as we would like or maybe even in the way we would like, we need to ask for eyes to see Him at work. Instead of rose colored glasses, we need “love covered” glasses. Our perspective always needs to have His love in the equation. When we seek to understand how much He loves us, we are able to see clearly. Our problems can always overwhelm us when we forget that we are overwhelmingly loved by Him.

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” Ephesians 3:18 That is my prayer for you in whatever season you are in. That you would catch even the smallest glimpse of how MUCH Jesus loves you."

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