What to Do When God Can, But Isn’t

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… Ephesians 3:20 ESV

I prayed for a miracle. One that would shock the medical professionals and offer me an opportunity to share the gospel with a few folks. That the baby I longed to hold would not die before he took a breath and everyone could say, “Look what God did.” I knew He was able. His word told me so, but He didn’t.

His silence broke my heart. I grieved my baby who died. I felt betrayed by the body God created. And there was God who loved me enough to send His Son and He stood by as my baby died.

I knew the scriptures:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 ESV

I certainly didn’t understand, but knowing God’s ways were not mine didn’t relieve the hurt and pain.

I also knew God promised:

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 ESV

Somehow His presence hurt the most. If He was busy or off saving a thousands of people from an asteroid directed at earth, maybe that would be easier to swallow. As if God was so busy, He couldn’t help. He wanted to, but it just didn’t work out. But God was there, He was the One knitting my baby together in my womb and He knew my baby was in the wrong place. God could have moved my baby from my Fallopian tube to my uterus. But He didn’t.

And He didn’t answer my question. He never told me why He stood near me and my broken heart and didn’t save the baby I begged Him to save. Instead He reminded me:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV

He whispered, “Trust Me,” as I slowly traversed the land of the grieving.

Trust that I have good plans for you.

Trust that I am near you to comfort you.

Trust that I am refining you.

Trust that I am guiding you.

So I could stand in the fire of grief and crushed dreams and trust God. It is the defiant cry of all believers who can say with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: (paraphrased) “Our God is able…but even if He doesn’t we will not bow down to anyone or anything else.”

Father God we confess that You are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. We also confess that when you do not perform the miracle when we ask that we struggle to cling to You and Your promises. Too often we try to find out why, when You want us to simply trust You. Help us to absolutely trust You with all our lives and in all of our dark times. May we be people who speak Your name and continue to trust regardless if You answer our prayer for a miracle or do not. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.