Have you ever been in a situation where you prayed and fasted for something so desperately? I mean you did all the right things you were supposed to do, you believed, you had faith and all, and at the end you still didn’t get that which you prayed for. Does it mean God does not love you or does it mean your faith wasn’t enough?
One of the experiences that has shaped my journey with God was during an exam I had in my third year in the university. In the previous semester I had done excellently well in my academics, then came this particular semester, I studied, I prayed, I fasted, I even did tutorials for some colleagues of mine prior to the exam, I attended exam prayers (this was a common thing among believers then in campus) so you will agree with me that I did everything possible to excel in my courses. Well, fortunately or unfortunately I didn’t do well when the results came out. I didn’t quite fail but I had Cs (credits) and a few Bs and an A. Meanwhile some of my colleagues had excellent results. I was really disappointed, like God what did I do wrong? I was so angry at God.
Having faith as a Christian is usually not an easy feat. Sometimes we get things the way we want them exactly the way we want them while at other times we don’t even get it. We pray and fast, we do all the right things yet it seems like God is not listening let alone answer. Then we begin to ask questions like; “God why me?” “Does God not love me anymore?” “Do I not have enough faith?”
Well, I am not a pastor neither am I a theologian but I know one thing from my life experiences that God loves us in every situation. God’s love is unconditional. Sometimes when we pray asking God for something; to us we desperately need this but God who knows the depths of our heart, who sees the future, knows that if he should give us this particular thing or grant us that request at this time, he won’t be doing us any good. It’s just like a child that is ten years old asking the parent for a car. Is a car good? Absolutely! Does the child know the uses of the car? Maybe, Does the child need that car at this age, absolutely No! The parents will of course refuse this request because they know better. To that child, it may seem like the parents do not love or care about him or her, but we know that’s not true. That is how it is with us and our heavenly father.
Interestingly, I have come to realize that when our prayers are not answered or our requests are not granted, God always makes a way. He always gives us something beyond our expectations and sometimes, It does not happen that way but in all of these he is always with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
For me, during this exam period I had studied, fasted and prayed for my exams and I didn’t get the results I was expecting but I learnt something afterwards. I learnt that I had idolized my grades. Me praying and ‘trusting God” was just something I did so that I can also claim that I prayed and fasted. To me then, I could do it all by myself. I had so much pride in me and we know what the bible says about the proud. I didn’t have utmost confidence in God. During this period, I realized God loves me beyond my grades, God has the best plans for me and when I came to the acknowledgement of this, I saw life in a different way. Today, I am in a different country doing something entirely different from what I studied in school which I totally love and still basking in the amazing love of God.
I also understand that it can be very difficult to wait for answers to our prayers, especially when we see the same thing manifesting in the life of others. This can really be frustrating but I want us to remember that God is never too early or too late, he is always on time. He answers our prayers at the right time and God’s time is always the best. You are not your mates, you are who God says you are. Always remember who God has called you to be, and how he sees you.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
Faithing, truly, is no beans but I pray and hope that we find strength and grace in the promises of our father for we know he is not a man that he should lie. He gives strength to the weak, hope to weary, love to the neglected. He is a mother to the motherless, father to the fatherless. He is always right by your side, always listening and always loving. So, my dear friend, keep holding on, keep faithing and believing. It will end in praise.