Sometimes we pray those prayers that we hope to see answered, but might not actually SEE answered. We trust that God will answer them in some way, but we just don’t know if we’ll be witnesses to the moment in which He does. Obviously we want to SEE His power and His workings in this world. But when we pray prayers like this, here’s what we’re saying:
I don’t have to see to believe.
And what does Jesus say about people like this?
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” | John 20:29
Before transferring to a new job in the Operating Room a couple years ago, the Lord placed a heavy burden on my heart. He impressed upon me the importance of making sure others would clearly identify me as a believer, one who trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, God, and King. He gave me opportunities that helped me grow in boldness during this time (more details here). He prepared and equipped me for this new job, with new people, carrying a new burden.
Many of the days leading up to my first day on the new job were spent in prayer for this new beginning. I begged God to give me the courage and boldness to make it clear to the others in my Residency group that I was a believer. I asked Him to give me the right moment, the right words, the right tone of voice, and a heart void of fear. I just wanted people to know who I was:
daughter of the King,
follower of Jesus Christ.
And they did know me because God heard my prayer and gave me great courage and strength in Him. When asked to introduce myself to the group, I began with the typical hometown, background, nursing talk. Tugged by the Lord, I closed with this:
The most important thing about me is that I love Jesus Christ because He died for my sins. I love talking about Him so if you’re ever interested, come find me so we can chat!
My hope was that this bold statement would later become a doorway for more opportunities, more conversations, and for more demonstrations of the love of Jesus. God knew this as my deepest desire, the prayer of my heart. And as I laid all of this at His precious feet, He daily answered with opportunities, conversations, and people to love.
Over the course of the year, life sped up drastically. I met Nathan, got engaged, and was planning to move to Chicago after our wedding. Though I prayed for my coworkers and friends regularly, though I trusted that God would be at work in each of their hearts and lives, I had no guarantee that I would be privy to these moments or awakenings. But I continued praying. I didn’t care if I didn’t witness it myself. I just wanted my friends to know this amazing God, to understand the depths of His love for them, to understand the extent to which He went in order to have a relationship with them.
I wanted abounding joy for them.
Abounding peace, abounding comfort,
Needless to say, I left my job in September without seeing any of them come to know Christ. Though saddened by this, I reminded myself that God is always at work and that my prayers do not go unheard. I entrusted them into His care.
Nathan and I got married later that month and left for our honeymoon shortly after. While soaking in the beauty and wonders of Florence, I received a text from a sweet friend from work. The words leaped up at me.
“Hey, I just wanted you to know that I am really working on rebuilding my relationship with God…”
My heart exploded within me, tears streamed down my face as I continued reading.
THIS is the God I serve. THIS is my God. A God who hears when we cry out to Him, a God who answers His children.
It would be easy to say all of this was my doing, but that would be a lie. It would be easy to think that God took over a year to answer my prayer, but that too would be a lie.
Every day spanning the time between my first prayer and this text message was an answer from God. He daily equipped me and prepared me. He gave me the daily capacity to love and live like Him. And I am certain that He was daily working in my friend’s heart too.
Those who have not seen and yet believe are certainly blessed. But when He allows us SEE Him work, what a sweet and beautiful treasure it is!