Unanswered Prayer?

Unanswered yet the prayer your lips have pleaded
In agony of heart these many years?
Does faith begin to fail? Is hope departing?
And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not the Father hath not heard your prayer;
You shall have your desire sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Nay do not say ungranted;
Perhaps your work is not yet wholly done.
The work began when first your prayer was uttered,
And God will finish what He has begun.
If you will keep the incense burning there,
His glory you shall see sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Faith cannot be unanswered,
Her feet are firmly planted on the Rock;
Amid the wildest storms she stands undaunted,
Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock.
She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer,
And cries, “It shall be done”–sometime, somewhere.
–Miss Ophelia G. Browning

How do you recover from heartbreak?

Most of the time we want to avoid heartbreak if it all possible. But what does the Bible say about heartbreak?

Heartbreak is defined as “crushing grief, anguish,broken_heart_by_starry_eyedkid or distress.” In a wider sense, brokenhearted usually describes someone who has suffered a failed relationship or loss of a loved one. But we can have a broken heart due to any kind of disappointment in life such as loss of possession, loss of job, shattered dreams, etc.

How are we to handle heartbreak? The world advises medication (antidepressant) to numb the pain instead of dealing with it. Or we try to solve it in our own strengths by going on a shopping spree, getting a makeover (face, hair, nails done). Or some encourage positive thinking. Do they work? Not really. They are temporary things, so they work temporarily! It does not heal the broken heart. Brokenness is on the inside. How could any external thing heal the internal problem?!

The real cure is time. It takes time to heal. We cannot rush it.  I’ve seen this to be true in my one life whether through losing a loved one (my mom), or through broken (dating or friendship) relationships! I want to be done with it fast but it doesn’t work that way. I am not a very patient person when it comes to anything going slowly. I am a go- getter type person :)! But God is teaching me through my own brokenness that there is no shortcut. We are to go through it in His strength!

The world’s focus is on the feelings and getting rid of those feelings but God looks at the heart (1Sam. 16:7). A non-Christian may sense a little lessening in intensity of heartbreak overtime. But Christians can experience complete healing/recovery because we have access to the power of God’s Spirit who alone “heals the brokenhearted and binds up the wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Think about Job in the Bible. In one day he lost his children, his possessions, and his health. What was Job’s response? “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD'” (Job 1:20-21). Job was heartbroken. Yet, he worshipped God and remained faithful. He had doubts as to God’s goodness during this difficult time, but he still grew closer to God through God’s revelation of Himself (Job 42:1-5) in the midst of his trials. Job teaches us that we as believers can learn through heartbreak—that God is faithful and good and trustworthy. When I got the news about my mom’s death, God immediately reminded me of Job 1:20-21, that God gives and takes away and He led me to thank Him for the years we’ve had my mom as His precious gift!

David is another example. He was a man after God’s own heart; he suffered many heartbreaks. Each time, he recovered by strengthening himself in the LORD (1 Sam. 30:6). As a result he became even stronger man of God. Psalm 34 gives an example of how David overcame heartbreak by calling on God: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). David knew “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). He expressed a confidence in God’s love: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). David was pursed by Saul and his own son even! What a hard life he lived.

David and Job are great examples in overcoming heartbreak by calling on God for help and having confidence in His love for His children. It is not always easy to look to God when you are in the midst of an intense heartache/heartbreak, but just saying “Help” will do! I’ve done that at times. That’s all I could say. Then I slowly turn to God’s Word and His promises. Through prayer I try to look at my circumstance through the eyes of God/through His promises. When I do that, then I am not looking at my pain directly.

Like me, you may have wondered at times, “God may have helped people like Job and David, but does He care about me today?  Or why don’t we see miracles like people did in the OT and NT times?” The truth is “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8). He does care; He is able to do miracles today! That is the truth. My feelings may tell me otherwise but God’s Word is the ultimate Truth! Cling to it! God has so many promises for us: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). What a comfort to know that God “will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God is always near to comfort His children: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). God, who never lies, has promised to go through our trials with us: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2).

God never ever failed anyone when they cried out to Him, and He will not fail the brokenhearted who cries out to Him today. He may not always answer exactly in the way we would like, but He always answers according to His perfect will and timing. While we wait for His answer, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). It’s a fact, it’s already there. We just need to reach out for His grace in our trials. Remember while you are enduring heartbreak that God loves you and His love for you is unconditional!

One thing that helps me in my brokenness is to know that Jesus sympathizes with my pain and weakness (Heb. 4:15). What amazing love! He is always there to comfort the brokenhearted and restore the joy! Open your heart and let Him into your pain! He waits for us until we let Him! As you open up to Him, May He soothe your souls, for He is the Balm of Gilead, your Healer (Jer. 8:22)! Amen!

Freedom to sing

A little bird I am,

Shut from the fields of air,
bird-in-a-gilded-cageAnd in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleaseth Thee.

My cage confines me round,
Abroad I cannot fly,
But though my wing is closely bound,
My soul is at liberty;
For prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of the soul.

I have learnt to love the darkness of sorrow; there you see the brightness of His face.
—Madame Guyon

Broken Dreams

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How could you be so slow”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do?
You never did let go.”
– Author Unknown