Why is God not answering my prayer?
The feeling of another headache. This tiredness that just won’t go away. I know what I should do—bake. That always makes me feel a little better, especially if it is one of the family favorites: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
I mixed all the ingredients and placed the cake in the oven. Setting the timer, I walked to the back of the house for a little sunshine and instead stepped into an oven. The heat hit me in my face, and humidity instantly raised perspiration on my forehead. It was going to be a sweltering day.
Droopy plants greeted me in my garden, screaming for attention and only the love that I can give them. While melting in the shady area of the backyard, I watered and talked to my plants. This always calmed me.
Finishing the task, I sprang up the steps of the house to jump into the cold house. The door handle refused to turn. I rattled the handle and asserted more pressure. No luck—I had locked myself out of the house.
With no keys or phone, I started to panic. I had a cake in the oven. Agitation took over, and I got mad at the door.
The gardener was in the neighbor’s back yard, and hearing my colorful language, he peeped over. He asked me if everything was OK. In amazement, I looked at him and told him that I locked myself out of my house. He grabbed a tool bag and came over. Getting on his knees, like a spy right out of an action movie, he looked at the lock and then the handle.
“Hmmm,” he said. He turned to look at me, then the lock, and while getting up, he twists the handle, and the door opens. I was flabbergasted. I had tried to open that door thirty minutes prior, and it would not open for me.
He looked at me with concern and said, “I know it isn’t any of my business, but you never speak like that. Are you OK?” Of course, I wasn’t, but I smiled and apologized. He left. Suddenly remembering my cake, I raced inside and rushed to take the cake out of the oven. Without my mittens.
Dropping the pan quickly, I immediately placed my hands under cold running water. Enough was enough. I screamed and felt like I could not stop shouting at the ceiling. I am sure my neighbors had a lot to say that day.
Needing to block all things from my mind, I stepped into the bathtub, dropped on my knees, and started crying. I spent days just crying in complete darkness, complete quiet. My phones were all turned off. I became so depressed and withdrawn. I only went to work. Work and home. Work and home.
I didn’t want to hear about God. Nor could I speak His name. I was mad, so upset at Him. For weeks I didn’t go to church. I didn’t hear from anyone. My status, popularity, “friendships”—all gone. I didn’t want to answer my phone. What I believed was no longer clear to me. I wasn’t sure who I was. I wasn’t sure of my worth. The “who I am” felt compromised. I finally just needed to settle this and have it out with God—and I broke down one day, shouting at Him:
“Yes, I knew I shouldn’t have married him, but I just wanted to help him. Why couldn’t You change him?”
“Why couldn’t You save my mom? She was the most Christian woman I have ever met. She loved You. Why couldn’t You save her from cancer?”
“What is so wrong with me, Lord?”
“Why is my body failing me? Why am I sick all the time?”
“Why am I so unlovable?”
“I am hurting—and You are doing nothing!”
“Why couldn’t my life and marriage be like so-and-so’s?”
“Why are You not answering me, God?”
“You spoke to Moses. You spoke to Abraham. All these people You are speaking to – what is wrong with me? Why won’t You speak to me?”
“Where are you, Lord, when I need You?”
“Just kill me now, God. I am ready to go.”
God heard. He heard my cry. And He answered.
No, He didn’t light up a bush and speak through it to me. No, I didn’t hear Him in the roaring thunder. And no, I didn’t hear Him in the silent wind. I felt Him saying to me, “I love you, and I will never let you go.”
I cried. I cried until my throat hurt. Until all I had left were moans. I cried until blissful sleep overcame me.
As I woke up the next day, with a scratchy throat and puffy eyes, I called out to God and just started talking. I told Him everything that I felt. How disappointed I was in Him for making me feel that level of pain and loneliness. I confessed that I knew I had made the wrong choices, but He was God. He could fix it. And wasn’t I supposed to be free from pain and suffering as His child?
I expressed my shame. I no longer wanted to face the world. I was sick to my stomach, bathing in shame over my discomfort in who I was, over my brokenness. I told Him that I didn’t know what to believe anymore. “Yes, You’re God—but how could You make all of this happen to me?”
Calling out to God
I called out to God and asked Him to help me see and understand the truth. To help me to know what I did not know. The problem was that for all of my life, I had relied on the truth provided to me from others. I had never ever sought truth for myself. I relied heavily on pastors and others for my spiritual knowledge, but I needed to understand what to believe. I needed to know God for myself and find answers to the questions that were burdening my soul. This would only be possible by seeking a closer relationship with God for myself and not relying on others for my belief and faith.
Within the depths of my heart and soul, I heard God telling me, “I am so excited for your future. Let us now begin.”
If you are tired of the disappointments, or if you think God is not hearing you. I promise you that He is pursuing you with an all-consuming love. Call out to Him and He will answer.