Well, I’ve done it. That’s yet another semester down, two more to go. I’ve got all of this new knowledge at my finger tips; I’ve got reasons to be proud. And yet….
And yet…this knowledge does not help me with what I’m dealing with. What I’m dealing with is faith and prayer, and it’s not going as well as I’d like it to go.
I’m in a peculiar situation. My faith that God will respond to my prayers is both rising and falling. Not up, and then down, but both up and down at the same time. Why? I’ll give an example.
One thing I prayed for this semester was help with my studies. I took 18 credits and worked 10 hours a week. Most of my classmates thought I was crazy when I told them (even though I hardly have the most difficult schedule on campus).
But God definitely answered my prayer that I would be able to get through everything. I have no doubt that it was him working and not just chance. Time and time again things worked out perfectly that saved me from a total breakdown. Did I have to finish an assignment that I simply had no time to do? No problem! The instructor pushed the due date back. Did I have to complete an overload of reading that would make it impossible to even have a weekend? No big deal. Two of my classes could simply require me to do the same assignment “quite by chance”. This happened all throughout the semester and never stopped (the grand finale was when one of my classes finished two weeks early, and I was given the final take-home exam three weeks before it was due). Praise God!
This is just one example of what I call “little prayers” which God has answered and which I firmly believe he has answered. They are mostly unseen except by those who watch closely.
The problem is with the “big prayers”. It’s not necessarily something huge that I am asking for in these situations, but they are things which would be more obvious if they were granted to me. Because of this, I doubt that they will be answered in the way I request them to be answered. And so I am left in a weird position, leaning on and also trying to grab hold of God in prayer. I thank him for his blessings, and then turn around and ask why he never answers, all the while feeling guilty for treating him like a vending machine.
And so, here I will remain for the time being, joyfully praying for those small things which he answers again and again, and yet trying to figure out whether it is my doubting or his denial that is blocking me from receiving that which I request of him.