Monday, September 12, 2016



Answers to prayers may not come in the form we expect.  It may not be just a joke when someone says “I got the answer to my prayers, it was “no”’.  The answer may vary in its time scale.  If you are praying to find a suitable life partner, don’t insist that the next person to ring the doorbell will be the one.  It is possible that you won’t get the hoped for answer to your prayers, but later realize how fortunate you are that your prayers weren’t answered to your specifications.  The traffic jam that made you miss the plane that crashed may be in that category of answers.

Cure, relief, or the outcome you want is likely to be the outcome most pleasing to you.  But other answers are also worthwhile.

Acceptance of the unwanted condition is a satisfying outcome.  It should not be just giving up, but it can be a happy life anyway.  If you are not miserable and dwelling on your problems, the people around you will be happier and it should make you happier too.  But keep the prayers going, maybe better times are coming.


When acceptance is based on a fatalistic view of the world it may provide some degree of release from anguish.  But true peace may be within reach if you consider how many of the first apostles suffered worldly woes and martyrdom.  They knew the worldly life was temporary and expected an eternal spiritual life with rewards far beyond worldly suffering, even though their vision of that world was clouded by earthly limitations.  Being witness to the life, teachings, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus made that belief and their expectations a certainty.  The certainty is not about the details of the future as seen by those who think in terms, of health, wealth and wives, those may be meaningless as our relationship with God reaches fulfillment.

If your expectations aren’t met, I hope you will at least have happy surprises.  I’ve heard it said, if your goals are met, you’ve set your sights too low.

Joe Engemann    Kalamazoo, Michigan    September 12,  2016

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