Everyone who’s prayed has also had times where they prayed and prayed and prayed and things didn’t happen the way they wanted or in the timing they wanted.
We celebrate that God has done a lot of mighty miracles in the scriptures but we don’t get one every time we ask, at least not the way we think. Jesus healed a lot of people but there were also times where He only healed one, like the man at the pool. Jesus healed him and that was great but he was the only miracle that day as far as we know and read. He fed thousands at a time but He didn’t feed people every time.
In fact you might be more familiar with that experience of being left out. What’s up with that? How does one have faith when it seems like feast or famine?
A couple of years ago as a church we united in prayer for Doug Barnett. If you were here at that time, you remember. Doug was a beloved husband to Chanda, a step father who was like a birth father to Cole, Lindsey and Terry who attend Indian Creek. Doug taught at Pioneer Trail Junior High for years and was a favorite teacher to many including my kids. Doug and Chanda had great faith! I really believed God was going to heal Doug and prayed that way.
Doug’s health kept slipping away but his faith seemed to grow stronger. I was so sure that God was going to do something dramatic and I prayed with confidence and faith right up to the very end. God had a different plan.
Doug taught us how to live for Christ and how to die surrendered to Him.
That wasn’t what we wanted. That wasn’t the lesson we were seeking. Doug wrote much of his own memorial service. One thing he was set on and that was that we would present the Gospel story and invite people to come forward and receive Jesus. There was no way in the world I would have done anything differently. We wanted to do whatever I could for Doug and Chanda and their family.
Just as they had asked and we had planned we made a presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We emphasized the promise of abundant life here and life in eternity afterwards at the conclusion of the Doug’s Memorial Service. Anyone who wanted to accept that Good News and ask Jesus to lead their lives was invited to come forward and stand at the front of the sanctuary. That day 17 persons came forward to receive Jesus! Two of them were Nate and Stefannie Eubanks. God used Doug to jump start faith in their lives. That decision would sit for a time like a seed in the ground until a crisis a couple of years ago caused them to lean in to their faith like never before! Now they are active witnesses for Jesus and a real tribute to the investment Doug made in Nate.
I have to ask, Why did God stop a fire in a dramatic manner and not heal my godly friend?
Some answers we may only learn in eternity.
I have a feeling that if we go to heaven with a list of questions in our hand that when we get there we will be so overwhelmed at the beauty, the justice, the truth and the person of Jesus we will just drop our list and it won’t matter anymore.
You can watch Doug’s story here: