When we pray with all our heart for something, and it just doesn't happen, what do we feel? An unmarried woman praying for a husband; a woman struggling with infertility and crying out to God; a family praying for the healing of a dear sweet child; what are they supposed to do, when they feel their prayers have been left unanswered?
I know several people in such situations; they turn to God, and from the sacred deeps of their hearts, they beg: 'Please, dear God. Just let it happen. My life is worthless if you won't make it happen'. And sometimes the childless are left childless, the unmarried walk the path of life alone despite all their efforts, and our loved ones leave us. I know people who have distanced themselves from God because they feel He hasn't been listening to them. 'I was faithful, I was a true believer, I prayed… but He didn't keep His end of the bargain!'
I believe that this attitude comes from perceiving God as someone who is inclined to punish us, someone harsh and merciless, rather than the kind, loving Father He is to all of us. Our souls are laid out in front of him like an open book. He didn't bring us into this world for a life of misery. He wants us to be happy, contented, industrious and productive.
Does it mean we will always get what we want? No.
There have been several times in my life when I wanted something badly, up to the point when I thought I can't live without it. Then my wish came true and… it made me miserable! Yes, that very thing I pursued with every beat of my heart. The thing I claimed I can't live without. How can it be? Obviously, not everything we want is right for us. I remember when I was little, I told my mother that 'when I grow up I will have lots of money and will spend it all on sweets'… well, now that more than a few years have passed, I've realized I'm probably never going to have a lot of money – which doesn't bother me the least bit – and I will certainly not waste it all on sweets!
Suppose I will become a mother someday, God willing. Imagine me, some years from now, walking down the street with my adorable daughter. In the window of a large shop, she notices a Bratz doll, and begs: 'oh, please, Mommy, can I have this doll? Pretty please!'; I take a good long look and see that the doll does not bring out the qualities I want to instill in my daughter for the years to come: modesty and a sweet, quiet, nurturing spirit of a future wife and mother. But how can I properly explain this to a 5-year-old? She begs and pleads and eventually throws a tantrum, and in the end turns her little tear-stricken face towards me, and screams: 'I hate you!'
How this breaks a mother's heart. And how God must feel when He knows our bitterness and resentment towards Him. We choose what's best for our children. Sometimes we can explain our actions. Sometimes we know they will not understand until they've grown up. This is when we ask them to trust our judgment. Trust. This is the key word.
Sometimes it's difficult beyond measure; sometimes we just can't accept it. How can this be good, we ask? How can this be right? But we must learn to trust Him. This is probably the most important thing we will ever do.