His Marvelous Ways
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When God Doesn't Answer
Fourteen years ago our family rejoiced at the birth of my precious grandson, Ashton. On record is a picture of his 2 grandmothers and 2 great grandmothers with our ears pressed to the delivery room door. We all four heard his first little cry at the same moment. All the rest of the family lined the corridor of the hospital. What a blessed day that was!
Ashton’s parents were 17 and 18 years old. Neither of them had had an encounter with the Lord. They said they were ready to raise a child, and they tried their best, but I was the one privileged to raise Ashton much of, if not most of, his first 12 years. My son and his girlfriend (Ashton’s parents) never married.
The ironic thing is that my youngest brother who was 40 years old at the time had since childhood dreamed of being a father. For 8 years he and his wife had (Continue reading from previous page)served the Lord faithfully. They had also longed for, prayed for, tried for, waited for and believed God for a child. Instead, my son’s girlfriend bore a child out of wedlock. Needless to say, there were unanswered questions and unspoken tension in the family.
We all visited Disney one December and I arranged for all of mine and my brothers’ households to visit a particular church on Sunday morning before we left Orlando. Everyone agreed. As we entered the sanctuary of this church we took a bulletin and then all of us filed into a long pew four rows from the front. Soon the atmosphere was thick with worship. Baby Ashton was with us.
I remember my eyes were closed, my hands lifted, and my mouth was singing God’s praises as my heart prayed for a baby for my brother. I’m sure he and his wife were also praying. When I opened my eyes, the pastor of the church was staring right at us and declared, “Faith is attractive!” I was stunned. I heard what God was saying : Our faith was very attractive to Him!
The pastor then loudly added, “Somebody’s PREGNANT with SOMETHING!” My spirit leaped within me. I knew God was answering our prayers. I had no doubt. My brother and his wife didn’t notice me glancing at them because they were smiling at each other. From that moment, I knew that God would surely give them a child.
A year went by. Then 2 years. In the 3rd year, I went alone to a conference in Orlando and again visited that same church on Sunday morning before going home. The previous visit with my family was the farthest thing from my mind. I’d forgotten about it.
But during the sermon, I remembered! I looked to the place where we’d all stood the first time… four rows back from the front and then I relived the whole thing! Anger rose up within me. “Father, they still don’t have a baby! You are not a man that You should lie! (Num. 23:19)” On and on I went. I don’t ever remember being mad at God except on this day, and in the same place where we believed He had spoken to us. How could He?
“How could You tell us that and not follow through?! They’ve trusted You! I've trusted You!”
I was so grieved, not only for my brother but also because my mind was telling me that God couldn’t be trusted to keep His word. The Church service ended, I left for home, and again forgot about it.
That was on Sunday. On Monday, my brother called. He and his wife hadn’t wanted anyone to know until they were sure, but they were 6 weeks pregnant. Gulp. I’d blasted our faithful Creator with accusations that He’d not been faithful AFTER He’d already answered.
They named him Isaac.
Years later, I happened across the church bulletin from that first December visit with my family. On the front of the Bulletin in large print it reads, “UNTO YOU A CHILD IS BORN”, and there is also a picture of a newborn’s little hand wrapped around a Daddy’s finger.
Ashton and Isaac are best friends. They're 4 years apart.
When you think God has forgotten you, know He has already answered.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33