March 6, 2012
Seems like my whole teen era was filled with me screaming inside, “Nobody understands me!” “Nobody really cares about me unconditionally!” Do you sometimes feel as though nobody is listening or understands what you are going through?
I had the opportunity to be a visiting preacher at a small church a few weeks ago. It was different. What do you expect when you have a psychiatrist preaching? Before prayer, people were sharing praises and requests, and an older lady offered praise for an incident a week earlier involving terrible storms and lots of damage in the area. She had a large old tree very close to her house that wasn’t going to survive the storm. The group had prayed that nobody would be hurt and that no damage would be done to the house. Sure enough, she woke up the next day, and the tree, despite the way it was leaning, fell away from the house, damaging nothing, hurting no one. She was so happy God heard her prayers.
It is great that God prevented damage. But the dangerous assumption is: “Good” outcomes mean God answers our prayers; “Bad” outcomes mean God doesn’t hear or answer our prayers. This thinking is part of the schemes and lies Satan wants you to buy into. We talked about that kind of brainwashing yesterday.
Well, Good News! Someone is listening and does understand. God hears all our prayers and knows exactly what we are going through and what we need. The Bible tells us that God is compassionate. He has a sympathetic understanding of your situation and He wants to ease your burden and free you from the load you carry. He is dependable. He is always there for you. He will never leave you alone. God’s love has no limits or conditions and never fails, no matter what your circumstances.
You have many challenges to face, but you don’t have to face them alone. Just because you don’t get what you prayed for doesn’t mean He wasn’t listening. Remember all the things you asked for as a kid? Aren’t you glad you didn’t get some of them? In fact, you now say “No” to your kids when they ask for the same exact thing that you “couldn’t live without!”
Today, think of things that didn’t work out after you wished for and received them. Remember, we don’t always ask for the right things for our growth. Talk to God about your feelings, your fears, and your real needs. As you spend time in the Bible, you will be comforted. You will learn that God is your refuge in your trouble. He offers strength and help. He is ever-present. He cares for you. He wants to carry your anxiety. He will give you peace, always, but you need to look in the right places. Life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, thank You for Your promise to be with me, no matter what. Thank You for understanding and caring. When circumstances don’t work out the way I want them to, I mistakenly think that You don’t love me, don’t care, or are just too busy with more important people and issues. Help me resist this me-centered thinking and lie, and open my eyes to Your truth. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One you sent to deliver the good news, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
God is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help, no matter how desperate the trouble. Nahum 1:7
But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. Psalm 59:16
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13