I am continually surprised these days that God has strengthened me to be able to care for my new granddaughter. I am having more and more "green" days ~ days when the bipolar and arthritis and fibromyalgia are seemingly held at bay, days when I feel strong and capable, days when my mind is able to plan and execute projects ~ "green" days!
Up until a year ago I really enjoyed watching religious programs on television. I enjoyed seeing people being healed. I enjoyed listening to messages that assured me that God didn't want me to be sick or poor ~ that He wanted me to be healthy and prosperous. But as I read more and more in the Bible, I discovered that the messages of the TV evangelists did not always agree with the Word of God.
Yes, I know that people are sometimes healed. My goodness, I used to have cataracts in both eyes and glaucoma in my right eye. I don't have them anymore!
Yes, I know that Christians are sometimes made prosperous. My goodness, He has prospered my children and they share with me!
But days are not always "green" for us. For me, there is never a day that is pain-free, even though I take pain medication. So, doesn't God love me? Why should I have to suffer if I'm a Christian?
My friends, there is no verse in the Bible that guarantees health and wealth, despite all the hoopla of the "Faith Healers" and the ravings of the "Prosperity Preachers." Here's what the Word says:
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (Romans 5:1-5)
Paul was given an infirmity, a "thorn in the flesh," to keep him humble. He asked God three times to take it away. God said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."(2nd Corinthians 12:7-10)
In all his pain, Job said, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God..." (Job 19:25-26). I understand that to mean that there WILL be a miracle for me. I WILL have a new body someday. And since there will be no tears in heaven, that body will be pain-free! Now, that's something to look forward to, and in the meantime I've got peace, grace and hope!
I asked God to take away my pain. God said "No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up."
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said "No. Her spirit is whole, her body is only temporary."
I asked God to grant me patience. God said "No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is earned."
I asked God to give me happiness. God said "No. I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you."
I asked God to spare me pain. God said "No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me."
I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said "No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful."
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. God said ‘No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things."
I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me. God said . . . "Ahhhh, finally you have the idea."
God answers all prayers. And yes, He sometimes says "No."