This week I went to a child’s funeral.
No-one should EVER have to go to a child’s funeral. Its too awful. Children dying goes against the natural order of things doesn’t it? You’re born, you grow up, you grown old and THEN you die, that’s how it goes. The next generation rise up and replace the last…I’d better stop before I go all Lion King, but it’s true. A child dying before they have had their time is wrong, and unfair, and is gaspingly painful even to think about, and certainly to watch, but to face? As a parent? I have no idea how you even begin. Part of my job is to help parents figure that out, and I am so woefully inadequate to do that, and so painfully aware of my inadequacy. But I am also so incredibly privileged to share those most painful moments with people, and to be (very slowly) learning to tolerate their pain because most people can’t, and they need someone to hear it and believe it.
Last week, my husband prayed for me because I have had terrible back pain since I started running, and it got better. like no pain at all better!
And then yesterday I went to a child’s funeral.
So my back pain was deserving of healing, but this child’s disease wasn’t?! SERIOUSLY?!
This new job of mine is challenging what I believe in a big way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in a place of doubting God’s existence, or even doubting my own relationship with Him, but I am certainly challenged about what I believe about prayer, and how I pray, and what I pray. I’m more aware than ever of the need to cling on to a belief that there is a higher plan, and a bigger picture that I can’t understand, and that God’s will, and the answers to my prayers, and the prayers of those families I work with, are held within that bigger plan.
But that is changing how I come to God. It’s changing how I pray, and what I pray, and why I pray. I’m coming to God for relationship more than I am for answers. And I cant promise that that isn’t because I’m scared to trust in those answers right now.
Friends who pray…why do you pray? and how do you pray? And what things have you read that have shaped and guided your prayer?