Give me an answer

You could hear the desperate plea in his voice. A family member begging for an answer to this plane that has vanished. Gone like a vapor. Not today. Not in this world. That doesn’t happen. Someone always has an answer.

There’s that black box that’s suppose to play this beep so it can be found but it’s not. The radar – useless. Nothing. No answer.

You can find opinions and speculation but there are no answers for the many hoping for something to hold on to. A flicker of hope their family members are alive.

You can Google everything today. It’s the modern Tower of Babel giving answers in any language at any time. Need an address? Google it. Want to know who won the World Series in 1971? Google it. How about cooking tips or medical questions or family genealogy or when the next harvest moon will be? Google knows it all. Except…this. And we can’t accept, in this Google-age, that there is no answer.

Two months ago, a friend went to the doctor to see why she’d felt so poorly for the past month. Just shy of her 47th birthday, surely it was something simple. Hormonal maybe. Her answer was stage 4 melanoma. Is this answer better than no answer?

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People say God answers prayers and I believe he does but…..But it’s hard to understand sometimes. Is no answer an answer and what about those answers we don’t want. Don’t expect. Is that God? Is it man or coincidence or chance or karma or___?

I believe in God. Him first, him only. His answers, his timing, his silence. This faith thing isn’t easy. There are a lot of questions, but this one is first on our lips: why? And when I don’t know the why it’s little consolation to another to say “God knows”. When a heart is desperate for an answer in this instant-answer world and someone tells us God loves but he’s silent now – where is the comfort? Where is the peace? Where is the answer?

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I could give you scripture, but is this what you want to hear ? Or do you want to know right this moment why your son is an addict or what happened to that plane?

Maybe I spend too much time around folks who aren’t the church going kind. They cast a doubtful eye at our claims that Jesus is enough and He is all we need. It’s easy to doubt when you’re living in a men’s shelter – again. When you’ve tried to pray away your alcoholism or homosexuality or pornography addiction and after you begged God for the umpteenth time, you still crave that drink.

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Wait.

That’s the answer. Wait. It’s hard at first. The hardest thing ever, this waiting for something. You don’t sleep and you pray to God even if you’ve never been sure of His existence. You work and keep busy and you check messages and email a hundred times a day. Your prayers are more like pleading and you do it loud with an ugly tear-stained face until you’re dry. And in this dryness, you begin the waiting.

In this quiet, when my breath is gone and words fail and all seems far away, when desperation grasps at any words to bring relief, not an answer but some kind of calm, now I can hear His words

Pushed to the wall, I called to God;
    from the wide open spaces, he answered.
God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid;

Answers are still absent but the spirit needs to breathe and the poetry of Psalms soothes the weary soul.

I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall,
    when God grabbed and held me.
God’s my strength, he’s also my song,
    and now he’s my salvation. (excerpts from Psalm 118 the Message)

God of all, of those who call you Father and those wandering about, God who has mercy on the just and unjust, hear our cries to you. When we beg for answers, show us your peace. When we ask why, give us mercy. When we feel lost and forgotten, give us your presence.

6 Comments

  1. Paula said:

    Needed this today – thanks~!

    March 24, 2014
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Praying for you today, Paula.

      March 24, 2014
      Reply
  2. Debby, what an awesome post. This faith thing is so hard for us long-timers let alone those new to faith or seeking it. We’ve all been at that place when we feel our prayers have not been answered and we ask ‘why me?’ It’s at those very times, I stop and ask myself, ‘why NOT me?’ and remember Jesus didn’t promise me a perfect life here on this fallen earth. Our perfection comes in heaven. Thanks for reminding me today that I need to pray for those who don’t understand that yet like those men you work with every day.

    March 26, 2014
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      That’s a good way to look at it Cindy, “why me?” I think I get more thankful everyday to be in the company of seekers. It helps me have a more learning perspective. And teaches me a lot about grace!

      March 26, 2014
      Reply
  3. Debby, what an awesome post. This faith thing is so hard for us long-timers let alone those new to faith or seeking it. We’ve all been at that place when we feel our prayers have not been answered and we ask ‘why me?’ It’s at those very times, I stop and ask myself, ‘why NOT me?’ and remember Jesus didn’t promise me a perfect life here on this fallen earth. Our perfection comes in heaven. Thanks for reminding me today that I need to pray for those who don’t understand that yet like those men you work with every day.

    March 26, 2014
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      That’s a good way to look at it Cindy, “why me?” I think I get more thankful everyday to be in the company of seekers. It helps me have a more learning perspective. And teaches me a lot about grace!

      March 26, 2014
      Reply

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