I was wrapped in silence amidst an intense battle with sleep when the pastor said “God can’t help you without your faith’’. Definitely, I didn’t agree but weeks later, another pastor said he was never sad, depressed nor sorrowful. He opined those expressions give room to unbelief and gives the devil room into our lives.
I don’t agree with either of them. The God in heaven according to the psalmist in Psalms 103:14, he says, “He knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.” That shows that God knows our limitedness in scope, depth and ability. I will give some examples below to buttress my point.
When Moses died in Deuteronomy 34: 8, bible tells us that the children of Israel mourned for thirty days. During that time, they didn’t move. God didn’t issue any directives. It was a solemn moment in the camp. He understood they were in a sorrowful time. He let them express their sadness and weakness as they broke down crying. He could have instructed them to pick themselves up and move on after all, Moses might be gone but he wasn’t gone. He chose Moses, he could choose another. But God understood.
When God rejected Saul in 1 Samuel 15, the prophet Samuel courageously looked King Saul in the eye and told him that God has rejected him and given the kingdom to his neighbor. Interesting, in the next chapter of the same book, Samuel was mourning for Saul when God told him to go to the house of Jesse, there he would anoint a king. At that moment, the humanity in Prophet Samuel was laid bare. He transformed from a tough speaking prophet to a mere mortal like the rest of us. Samuel asked God ‘’How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” Ironically, this was the same Saul whom Prophet Samuel looked in the eye and told “God has rejected you”. Our gracious God didn’t get angry with Prophet Samuel; he made an alternative for him. He told him to take an animal with him and go sacrifice so if Saul queries his whereabout, he should say he was going to sacrifice. God wasn’t disappointed. He simply understood.
Moses was tendering his father in law’s flock in the wilderness when God appeared to him in form of a burning bush. Later, he was instructed to go Egypt to rescue the Israelites. Moses reminded God that he was a stammerer, as if God forgot. God assured him that he will be with his mouth. Moses wasn’t convinced. God reminded him that he was the one who created the mouth and he will be with it. Again, Moses was still not convinced. Our merciful God then asked his brother Aaron to go with him as mouthpiece. At that point, Moses heaved a sigh of relief. It is interesting to note that, in Egypt, we were not told anytime when Aaron told Pharaoh “thus says the Lord……” Moses did all the speaking. God indeed kept his word by being with Moses’ mouth.
I could go on and on about various bible heroes and how God dealt graciously with them inspite of their human frailties. So next time it hurts, cry. God answers the prayer of a sorrowful spirit. Ask Hannah. The mother of Samuel. When shit happens and you want to ask God questions, please do. Sometimes, I doubt if I would get answers; not because I lack faith but because I know that God will answer an undeserving fellow if he wants to. We can’t dictate to God whom to answer and whom to ignore.
I don’t know about faith being a guarantee for answered prayers but I know that sometimes, I was too weighed down to believe; just like Peter, I considered the storm but despite that, God came through for me… He understands.
Image via Good Guy Swag