The Real Miracle of Unanswered Prayers

When you walk through the fire

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Isaiah 43:2-3

What do you do when you’re confronted by your biggest fear?  What about when the very thing you prayed wouldn’t happen, happens?  Unanswered prayers can cause both disillusionment and discouragement, but what if the greatest miracle is in the unanswered prayer?

Recently, my best friend was in the process of adopting a little girl.  From the very beginning of the adoption journey, her greatest fear has been that she would get a child and love her as her own, and the child would be given back to a biological family member.  We prayed relentlessly for that not to happen, but then it happened.

A few weeks ago, this bright and bubbly little girl that we had all come to love as part of the family made the heartbreaking move from my friend’s home back to the home of a biological family member.

My friend is now mourning the loss of her child, but walking through this with her I have been amazed at how God is working through this.  Losing a child is one of the greatest devastations you could ever experience, but God is carrying her through this heartbreak in miraculous ways.

There is something so supernatural about it all.  As she fixes her eyes on Jesus, and keeps a firm grip on His promises of who He is, she carries a supernatural strength and peace with her.  It’s all about her focus; eyes firmly set on God.  Her focus is not on the waves or flames that threaten to engulf her.  Her eyes are fixed on the promise of God’s presence and His purpose through her pain. One would imagine without a doubt that this is the kind of heartbreak that would sweep you over, but God has held her up, and with eyes firmly fixed, she is still standing.

She is passing through the waters without being swept over; walking through fire without being burned.  Perhaps the real miracle is the unanswered prayer.  The miracle isn’t that God kept my friend from having to walk through the fire, but that she is walking through it without being set ablaze.

Perhaps you too are passing through the waters or walking through fire today.  If so, might I encourage you with this promise straight from God?  These waters will not sweep over you.  This fire will not set you ablaze.  You are not alone.

Part of my own story of a time that my family walked through fire was recently published in a Faithwriters compilation book, “Trials and Triumphs II.”  This book is filled with stories of God’s miraculous rescue, and there is an entire section titled “Faith Under Fire.”  These stories are sure to encourage you in your faith, and they also make great gifts.  Click here for more information or to purchase your copy.

For more inspiration as you walk through the fire, check out this Kari Jobe song.  God has been speaking to me through this song lately.

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