It takes a lot of courage to say this, but sometimes (a lot of the time?!) I question God and his timing. I bet you do too, right? Maybe you, however—unlike me—aren’t dumb enough to say (or write) it out loud.
However, our thoughts are betrayed by our questions that insinuate that God hasn’t acted quickly enough for us . . . “Why am I not in heaven yet?” “Why am I still single?” “Why can’t we get a diagnosis?” “Why hasn’t God answered my prayer?” “Why hasn’t she/he changed?”
Sometimes we think he acted far too quickly. We say . . . “Why did God take them so soon? They were too young, too needed, too important. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.”
Instead of beating ourselves up about our thoughts, however, we need to realize that David, Israel’s king about three thousand years ago, had some of those same questions. In a song he wrote, he asked God, “How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:1,2).
Sometimes those questions come because we are selfish and wonder, “Why isn’t God doing what I want him to do when I want him to do it?” Usually, though, I think they come from hearts that are tired, weak, and worn. We know this world isn’t what God created it to be, and we are desperate for peace.
Instead of trying to psychoanalyze God and come up with “Ten Reasons Why God Does Not Seem to Be Answering Your Prayers,” I thought today would be a great day to share “One Prayer to Pray When God’s Timing Doesn’t Make Sense.” Because sometimes we need to share with him that we are struggling and then remind ourselves of his strength.
Dear Father, you are good. Today my heart is having a hard time remembering that I am tense, anxious, and worried. Even though I know that nothing can separate me from your love, it feels like you are far away. And I’m scared that you aren’t really listening to my prayer because I haven’t really gotten an answer yet.
Forgive me for doubting, for being discontent, for being impatient. I know that your grace is sufficient for me. Help me to be strong and take heart because, even when I don’t see it, you promise that you are working for my good and for your glory. And you’ve never broken a promise yet.
Whether you answer my prayer soon or whether you have me wait, Lord, I trust in your unfailing love; I will give you praise because you have been good to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor. The last line of her prayer was a paraphrase of the end of King David’s Psalm 13. She loves that no matter how often David listed his troubles at the beginning of his songs, he always ended by recounting God’s goodness.