Tuesday, March 18, 2008


When I was ten years old, my grandma had to go to the hospital to have surgery for brain cancer.  I prayed that she would be well and I believed she would be.  That's what prayer is for, right?  
She never came home from the hospital.  The swelling from the surgery killed her and they were unable to remove all of the cancer anyway.
That was my first experience with death, other than a pet.  And my first experience with God answering my prayers differently than I had expected.
I continued to pray throughout my life.  But I wonder why?  I had a very strong belief that God answered prayer, but a very strong doubt that He would answer mine.
When I was pushing forty, I went to a Bible Study called Believing God by Beth Moore.  It changed my view of God and faith and prayer in so many ways.   I would have to do a whole post about that to do it justice.  
But there was one section on not being offended by God.  
Remember when John the Baptist was in prison and he was soon to be beheaded?  
There is a wonderful book called The Prisoner in the Third Cell that talks about all this.  I recommend the book.  
Anyway, he's in prison and he's heard all these stories of the wonderful things that Jesus is doing.  Jesus, his cousin.  Jesus, the Lamb of God.  While still in the womb, John had recognized who Jesus was.  He spent his entire life preparing the way of the Lord.  Making the path straight.  Clearing the way.  He was a spiritual bushwhacker for Jesus (that sounds like an old fashioned sermon).  Now here HE was in jail.  So he asked his followers, "Is Jesus really the Messiah?"  Was he thinking "if He were really the Messiah, I wouldn't be here"?  "How can he be who I thought he was and let me stay locked up here?"  His followers went back to Jesus and asked the question for John.  Jesus gave them an answer for him.  They were to tell him of all the miracles they had seen Jesus perform and of the lives that had been changed and then they were to say to him, "Blessed is he who is not offended by me."
I had spent thirty years offended that God had said no to my prayer.  Thirty years holding it against Him, basically.  What an eye-opener.
The thing that God had been teaching me, that came to a clear point at this time, was that if I put my faith in my request then I will be disappointed.  
If I pray for something with complete confidence that God is going to give that thing, I may be disappointed.  Because I don't always know the right thing to pray for.  My faith is in the one who answers, not in the one making the request.  My faith says "I am going to ask for this thing, but I trust God to answer the best way and I will accept His answer with thanksgiving."  I have complete faith that God CAN heal brain cancer.  He CAN do anything.  And sometimes, because it is the best thing, He does do the miraculous.  Other times, because it is the best thing, He does not.
I'm going to post more on prayer tomorrow.  


  1. I love this post.

    I just finished Part 6 day 2 of Believing God. This is my second time through.

    The first time, I believed God for a miracle and I saw it--my uncle was saved and he was the only other one in my family besides me. I thought he was going to be my partner in faith and I thought he was going to do Bible studies with me and help me spread the gospel to all of our relatives.

    Nine months, fifteen days after he accept Christ, he killed himself. I had also been seeing a surgeon about possible breast cancer and my pastor was kicking me out of church.

    I could probably write a good sized book on what I went through and what I learned. I was devastated, but also knew deep in my soul that God was in control and He knew and had competent control of everything.

    I was afraid to go through Believing God again. I did NOT want to face something worse. Because isn't that what we're told, the bad stuff prepares us for the battle to come? I have to say, I'm still hesitant to finish going all the way through this study for a second time.

    This post was (I feel like it was) written for me. "Michelle: Do NOT be offended by God." That's what's ringing out in my ears. "Finish the study, you'll see. You can trust me."

    Thanks for writing today. I'm not sure I can convey all that I have inside me in this little comment box, but I think you'll at least get an inkling of where I'm coming from.

  2. Excellent post, Kay.

  3. thank you so much for this post - I am having problems with "how" to pray for something right now in my life and I always get caught up in "how to ask" God - this has been very helpful. I will look forward to you post tomorrow - I always enjoy your blog.

    Thanks. Mary

  4. Very moving Kay - I know exactly where you are coming from. Very thoughtful.. thanks for sharing..

  5. I have been offended by God before. Why didn't He answer my prayers (the way I wanted them to be) and make everything better? You know what situation I'm talking about. But He answered the way He did for reasons I will never know, and its probably best that I don't know. I have had to also..well I guess forgive God, but thats not right, I guess accept God for His wisdom and love for not only me, but others also. Thanks for the post. I also wanted grandma better, and was hurt that she wasn't.

  6. Great post Kay! Thanks for sharing. We all need to come to terms with prayers answered in a different way they we wish. I'm reading a book by Joni E. Tada and she shared that she had to deal with a no to healing and later shared that sometimes God heals the inside instead of the outside.

  7. What's the Scripture reference? I'd like to read all about it. That's a very interesting thought and I need to think more about it.

  8. The grandma Kay refers to was my husband's wonderful mother She was the best mother-in-law in the world. My hubby was with her at the hospital and the girls and I were down by the sofa praying. As I prayed I suddenly knew that she had died. I bawled and bawled. A few minutes later, my husband called and told me. The only consolation is that she had a fear of losing her mind and that cancer would have done that on its way to kill her. It was the most deadly of all brain cancers. I have had times when I felt offended because God didn't do things my way. I believe He understands our feelings and He helps us to grow through it. Kay, I know how this has bothered you for years. It was good that you could talk about it.

  9. Jen,
    Matthew 11:1-6 and Luke 7:18-23

  10. Michelle,
    Thank you for sharing. You know what I see in your story? God knew all those bad things were coming your way and He had you take that study so that you would be better prepared. He always goes before us.

    Life is dreadfully difficult sometimes, but God is so good.

  11. I honestly say that I have never been angry or offended with the Lord..ever.

  12. Kay, excellent thoughts. One prayer I learned a while back really helps me - it is called the surrender prayer:

    God if you want ______ (me to get published, someone to be healed, my car to get fixed) then let it happen and if you don't want ____(me to get published, someone to be healed..) then don't let it happen. Put YOUR WILL in mine and give me the power and courage to carry it out.

    I love this prayer because it puts it all right back on HIM. He is in control. When I get offended, many times it is a matter of wanting to control.

    I look forward to reading more, my friend.

  13. God told me once that "he was not a genie in a bottle." In other words, not everything was going to go according to my plans. Hard truth. But God is still working in our best interests all the time.

    Happy Easter! Happy Spring!


I love to hear your thoughts!