“There was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'” (2 Corinthians 12:7b-9a).
I believed with all my heart that God could answer my prayer in a blink of an eye. It would take no work on His part. He is fully capable. That’s what hurts the most when my prayer goes unanswered.
I have several chronic illnesses and sleep is important. With chronic illness, your body is already functioning with negative numbers on the scale of good health. When you do not receive good sleep for whatever reason, your body begins to have all sorts of extra problems.
My doctor prescribed me a pill to help with sleep. I don’t want to take the pill because it produces a host of other troubling problems. I prayed for God to help me sleep. I told Him that I knew He could help me sleep without having to take the pill.
I didn’t ask to be healed of all my physical problems–I only asked that I could sleep. I simply needed to sleep.
Before bed I prayed believing He could. I prayed knowing He cares about me and my sleep. I prayed knowing He answers prayers and would answer mine.
He answered my prayer but it was a “no” instead of a “yes.”
I slept worse that night than any other. I had pain, insomnia, restlessness, etc. I was so disappointed, hurt and discouraged.
But, and this is a big but, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care. Paul prayed three times to remove the thorn in his flesh and God said “no.” More than that, He told Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
I have to make a conscious choice to replace the disappointment, hurt, and discouragement with a faith that trusts that God is working things out according to His will. His will is what is best for me.
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust you with everything. Help me have the faith I need to trust you when you don’t answer my prayers the way I want you to. Thank you for caring about each symptom I have with this chronic illness.
About the author:
Karen Weber lives in Kansas with her husband. She’s been living with fibromyalgia and sleep apnea for 20 years. She has a passion for encouraging others with health issues. She teaches community classes on how to live a positive life with chronic illness.
Do you ever feel hurt when God does not answer your prayers the way you want Him to?
In this video Casting Crowns sings “Voice of Truth.” The lyrics remind us of how many times the voice we hear tells us we aren’t useful to God. It points out the times we have failed and how likely it is we will fail,again. Yet this is not God’s voice. God’s voice is the voice of truth and it tells us to trust Him, that He loves us, and we don’t have to do or be anything to gain His love. Hugs, -Lisa