I used to just pray for things.
“God, please be with them.
Give them exactly what they need.
Help them feel Your presence in this moment.”
The cry of my heart was for peace. Comfort. Order. Happiness.
These things are important to us, you know?
When Ben got sick, these were the requests I begged God for–second only to healing. And, if you’ve been following along, you know that God chose to answer those prayers differently than I had hoped.
People ask me how my family is doing now. To be honest, I struggle to respond. Mostly because we’re all “doing” (handling, processing, grieving) differently from one day to the next. But my immediate reaction is one I’ve adopted from my wise sister: one day at a time.
Recently, though, I’ve noticed a change God has brought about. Life in general seems to be falling back into routine. Aside from the blog updates, most of Buffalo doesn’t think of Ben everyday–like we do. Not that I’m saying this to inspire guilt but just to grant perspective. It’s a strange reality. And within it, I have been changed.
I used to view life (and God) through a rose-colored scope; one that offered the luxury of pressing for requests of comfort rather than survival. One that knew the wonder of His presence while remaining ignorant to His power, sovereignty, and our desperate need for Him.
Now, I do.
I miss Ben terribly. I miss the wholeness of our family. The warmth that filled the room when we were all together and no one was missing–or hurting as a result. I ache for my sister, my brother-in-law, and the kids. As I’ve said, pain is something experienced differently by everyone and theirs is one none of us will ever know.
God promises us that He works all things out for our good. (Romans 8:28) All. No exceptions. And in view of that fact, my prayers have changed.
I still ask God to reveal Himself–to show up in hopeless circumstances to bring His peace, healing and modern-day miracles–because He asks us to share our heart and His own is bent toward restoration. It’s just that I don’t ask for comfort’s sake anymore.
I ask so that we might see Him.
Because comfort is temporal. It is dependent on circumstances. It fades.
But my God never has.
And never will.