When a Christian mother told of her son’s suicide, someone asked what that did to her faith. Did she question God’s love for her or for her son? Did she turn away from God? The mother said it did not turn her away from God, nor question His love. What it did cause her to question was her understanding of what she had thought God spoke to her. She had believed the Lord had told her He would intervene for her son. The fact that her son took his life instead left her thinking she had badly misunderstood God – and that undermined her faith in hearing God. How was she to know when she was hearing from God? How could she be sure if she understood what He was saying? Then she had an insight that made all the difference: God had intervened for her child when He saved him on the cross. During those troubled times, her son came to salvation; that was the intervention God had made for him. The child was not saved from his life of battles, but he was saved for all eternity. The intervention God made in her son’s life was not of this world, but one of God’s kingdom. And that brought her peace.
As she explained her sudden leap of understanding, I had one, too. When we don’t see His intervention in what we pray for, it does not mean God has failed us. It does not mean He has turned a deaf ear on our prayers. Though we long for His interventions in the troubles and complexity of this world, this is but our temporary abode. When we can think of eternity as we pray, our prayers become those that will make the true and forever difference – for us, for our children, for all those we love. Our prayers become stronger and His answers more clear. We will make more time to pray about what matters for all eternity, those things that are everlasting, that which prepares us and others for a lifetime with God.
We think more about the present; God thinks more about our future. I believe it will be a beautiful thing when we are heaven-side and see all the ways He intervened for our eternal good that we did not recognize – could not recognize. I believe when we see the glory of His presence, we will also immediately see the truth of His love; that He never left us wanting without taking care of a greater need.
He is our Abba Father and He is Love. He is Faithful and Wise, Good beyond any means of measure. He cares for our souls and all that shapes us for the time beyond – that time which is without end.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.