For a long time the first request on my prayer list has been that God would bring a terrific man to Carissa. For several years that top priority prayer went unanswered. When a request like that goes without any hint of an answer for a long time it is a real test of faith. God is big on families, so why would he not arrange for my daughter to find the right man for her? At times my heart ached for her because I knew that she was lonely and longing for that man. In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow as a way of encouraging his followers to “always pray and not give up.” We persisted in prayer but seemingly to no avail.
Experiencing God’s faithfulness through an answer to prayer is always exciting and encouraging. It is one more powerful reminder that God cares, that he hears us, and that we can trust him. However, even as I rejoice in God’s goodness I am reminded of the reality of the life of faith. During those years when I cried out to God on behalf of my daughter and saw no evidence of his answer, was God not faithful? Was he not good and trustworthy? Honestly, at times that’s how it felt. In Psalm 13:1-2 David cried out, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts.” In verse 3 David pleaded with God, “Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.” At some point, maybe at many points, every Christian will go through that experience when it seems like God has forgotten us.
God had not forgotten David. And he did not forget me or Carissa. He was faithful and good even when I could not see evidence of that fact. That is crucial for us to remember always, but especially in those dark days when God seems to hide his face. Faith means trusting him no matter what. It means crying out with Jeremiah in those darkest of days, “great is your faithfulness.” We must always remember that even though we may not see it now, as David wrote in Psalm 27:13, “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
I guess the best way I can sum this up is simply to say, “Thank you, Lord, for Michael and Carissa. You are good, you are great, and once again you have shown yourself faithful.” But I should also say that in the future there will again be times that test my faith in that truth. Lord, help me to not doubt your faithfulness in those days of testing that I know will come.