For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
What things do you wish that God had changed in your life? I think that every Christian would give you an entire list of items if you asked this question.
But God doesn’t always give us what we desire most, and oftentimes we don’t know why.
For much of my early childhood, I prayed for a miracle.
I was born twelve weeks prematurely in Taipei, the capitol of Taiwan. Before, during or shortly after my birth, I suffered a brain hemorrhage. My birth parents decided to give me up for adoption, and that’s how I ended up in the Netherlands. I am the second of my parents’ three daughters, but the only one who’s in a wheelchair. From our youth, my sisters and I were raised in a Christian home, for which I am very grateful.
When I was young, I used to pray for a miracle and ask the Lord God to heal me. That didn’t happen, and as I got older, I learned to accept that He had a different plan for me, a plan that included a wheelchair. For quite a few years, I got to experience what it meant to come to terms with—and even accept—the fact that I had to live with a body that doesn’t function the way it should.
Now that I’m in my twenties, this is once again something I struggle with. A lot of my friends are married and having children. That’s something that I long for as well, even though there truly are moments that I enjoy the freedom and independence I have.
I don’t actually pray for a physical miracle anymore. Now, I hope that God will use me, even with a wheelchair. I pray for joy in all circumstances, that I may radiate His peace. Nonetheless, it still hurts sometimes that my body doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, that I don’t have as much energy and that I have dreams that most likely will not become reality. It’s hurtful or annoying when people on the street stare at me, or treat me like I am not only physically handicapped but mentally as well.
It’s a battle, at times a daily one, to trust God in the times that I struggle with my disability, when I’m sad because a lot of things take more effort and I feel dependent on others.
Nevertheless, I get to hold onto the belief that—even when it doesn’t feel like it—I am God’s beautiful creation. Up until now, He hasn’t given me what I so often prayed for as a child. But He does grant me grace, people who love me and take care of me when needed.
The Lord gives the promise of a perfect body. If not on this earth, then later in His kingdom.
When you experience the pain of an unanswered prayer, remember that the Lord has most certainly has heard you. Your suffering and sadness don’t leave Him unaffected. God always gives enough grace! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Prayer: Father, thank You for being concerned with Your children. When I’m in pain or feeling sad, I may know that You are with me to comfort me. Help me to trust in that, in Your omniscience and Your unending love, even if You have another outcome in mind that I would ask for. Amen.
Read more: Jesus take the wheel