Express Yourself: That’s Not the Answer I Wanted…

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Helen Hosier
Special to the Express

My son was questioning me about a health problem one of his friends was having. Knowing how much he appreciated this person and that this was a serious situation, I chose the words of my reply carefully; however, I had to be honest. He glanced downward and then said, “That’s not the answer I wanted.”

Have you ever felt that way? Some situation comes into your life — your own health or that of a friend or family member, financial reverses, something about which you pray and seek God’s help — and the answer you hoped for isn’t forthcoming. That’s hard, I know, the disappointment, sadness, the questioning — asking the “Why?” question — all the things that crowd into our thinking. What can we do when the heartaches come and everything in us cries out for another answer?

If we were God, we would always say “Yes” to the troubling questions. But we’re not God, and unlike God, we don’t know the end from the beginning. God’s sovereign plan is beyond the limitations of human comprehension. And that’s where our faith comes into play. We can’t see into the future. Faith, believing beyond the optic nerve — believing and trusting beyond what we can see. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5,6). Leaning implies putting your full weight on something, resting on and trusting that person.

God knows what is the best outcome.

A friend tells a story of a friend’s son. Whenever her son drove his car, she prayed for angels to surround him and keep him safe. But one night he died in that very car, the victim of a drunk driver. “Where were the angels?” she asked God. Only with the ear of faith could she hear, “They came on a different mission- to carry Brent to the arms of Jesus.” God’s response to us is always “Yes” in respect to His larger purposes and His faithfulness to His promises.

Our painful experiences are occasions for growth — evil is everywhere mixed with good (Romans 8:28) — but it doesn’t mean the event itself is good, only that by God’s grace they are redeemed for good by God. Strength from God comes as we link our weakness to His power, trusting in His sovereignty. Short answers to tough questions aren’t easy. Simple answers will not suffice.

But what we can remember is that God, our heavenly Father, suffered the death of His only Son, and that He understands our groaning and even our questioning. What He did for Jesus, He will do (is doing) for us. But even Jesus uttered “Why?” (Matthew 27:45). Sometimes we cannot know God’s ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9). Our wilderness wanderings may find us seeking answers and we might end up saying “That’s not the answer I want.”

Bring your uncertainty to God in prayer; use the Bible as your resource to provide hope and guidance. As He guides and protects you and your loved ones, you will receive the assurance that His answers will see you through.

Helen Hosier is an accomplished author or more than 70 published books, many newspaper and magazine columns and a former keynote speaker.

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