2 Kings 4
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 NIV84
How many times in your life have you prayed for something, big or small, to have it not happen the way you wanted? Maybe it was as simple as finding a lost item, or as complicated as repairing a broken relationship, or as miraculous as healing someone on their death bed. Have you bargained with God? If only, then I will…. or take me instead….. I have.
When I read the story on 2 Kings chapter 4 in the book Greater by Pastor Steven Furtick, at first I was astonished that the bible should depict a story of a faithful woman losing her son. The son she didn’t ask for but was a gift from God in her later years. I found it amazing that from the perspective of Greater, Elisha the prophet had a servant lay his staff on the child and the child remained dead. Pastor Furtick used this part of the story to show that our prayers are not always answered in the way we want and they are not always heard in the way we ask them.
However, when I opened my bible to read 2 Kings 4, I realized that once Elisha arrived at the scene, he did indeed revive the boy. As wonderful as this is, it made me mad. (Yes, I am admitting these horrible feelings.) A miracle should not make me mad, but in the context of what was in my book verses what is in the bible, it did make me mad.
You see, when my son was sick with cancer, I prayed. I begged. I bargained. I would have done anything to keep him alive, including dying myself. Most parents would. I remember sitting at my kitchen table with my pastor just a couple of days after Louis died and asking him, “Why are there so many accounts of God bringing people back to life in the bible, but he couldn’t bring my son back to life?” Honest, raw question from a newly grieving mother.
I have spent the past 6 1/2 years learning. Learning more about God. Learning more about the bible. Learning more about myself and my relationship with God. And as I learn more, I question less. As I learn more, I ask for less. This balance, this relationship, is built on faith. A faith that does not require Why’s and I Don’t Understand’s. A faith that just accepts.
I don’t know why my son got cancer. I don’t know why he died. I don’t know why God didn’t bring him back to life for me. But I have stopped asking those questions. I don’t doubt that He could, I just don’t need to know the answer. As much as I don’t like the situation, it is not about me. I can’t see the whole picture, but I need to trust the one who can.
God is the almighty Creator. He never leaves us. When things get difficult in our lives, we are the ones who walk away from Him. If we remain steadfast in our faith, especially through the most trying times, we will reap His rewards now and in heaven.
Wasted faith? I think not. It is those times when we feel the most lost, the most out of touch, the most like God has forgotten us that we must remain faithful. God sees the whole plan and He will see us through, always.