Waiting is hard

We all have stories about God not answering our prayer. We asked for help on the test. We failed. We asked for healing for the child. She died. We asked “why?” We didn’t hear anything.

Given our experience, many of us read these words that Jesus said and we cringe:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. [Matthew 7:7-8]

And so we learn to use qualifiers. Or we don’t pray at all.

But what if Jesus actually was telling the truth? What if “everyone” really means “every one?” What if every time we ask we receive an answer but we aren’t listening?

A 2-year-old is riding in a stroller through a store asking for that. And that. And that. If the parent keeps moving past all of the items, we may get upset.

Except the store isn’t Toys’R’Us, it is Lowe’s. And the aisle isn’t toys, it’s pesticides. And the quiet parent already told the child that they were fixing the sandbox.

With focus, the parent gets to the bags of sand. Which are not at all exciting to a 2-year-old.

The journey through the rest of the story is loud and the ride home is sleepy, after the tears subside.

After a nap, during which the sand goes in the box, the child is taken outside and placed in the sand, where the parent also sits.

The requests of a 2-year-old for what would kill are often refused.

The requests of a 2-year-old for what gives life are often granted.

But two-year olds can’t read the labels, don’t know the plans.

They must trust.

7 thoughts on “Waiting is hard

  1. Cheryl Smith

    Waiting is hard indeed. And Jesus’ words are true. Thanks for the reminder. Too often, we forget that we don’t see things the same way God sees them. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

    Thankfully, He grants us grace during the wait.


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  3. Paul Sheneman

    The mailchimp widget is a cool feature and makes sharing your posts with others easy. I appreciate your hard work on these posts and the gift of insight you have with these texts.


  4. Philip

    still there isn’t always comfort in that. where in some of these situations is the life to fullest and hope and grace?

    where is the love in pain and hurt?


    1. Jon Swanson

      I can answer as a father. There have been times that pulling out a splinter seemed to cause more pain, but was the way to have the wound actually heal.

      I can answer as a child. There have been short-term pains that were to hurt, but not to harm.

      I can answer in faith. I don’t know why our daughter died. I can point to good that has come. I can point to my absolute confidence that God exists happening at her grave. I can point to death being the inevitable outcome of her genetic disorder and the shortness of her life being grace for her.

      And yet all of those answers, though true, don’t lessen the significance of your question when in the middle of the agony.


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