Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When God Doesn't Show Up

What do you do when God doesn't show up for you? When you've prayed and prayed for him to do a miracle and he doesn't?

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and I want to share with you some of the things I've learned. Over the next few weeks, I'll be looking at a few Biblical figures who went through difficult situations. Each of these people went through a difficult circumstance in which God could have stepped in and saved them but for some reason chose not to.

To start, let's look at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the book of Daniel. Here's a summary of what happened:

The Babylonians (and King Nebuchadnezzar) defeated Israel and forced many of the Israelites into captivity. Among these were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar set up an image of gold and required all of the people in his kingdom to bow down to it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused. Their refusal, of course, infuriated Nebuchadnezzar. He called them in and gave them one more chance to bow down. If they refused again, he told them he would throw them into the fiery furnace. Here's their response to Nebuchadnezzar's threat:

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18, emphasis mine). 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed that God would save them. "He will deliver us," they said. Not might or could, but will. They trusted that God would save them. 

I think we could take a lesson from that. When I pray, I often lack that kind of faith. Maybe it's because I've been let down before. Or maybe it's because I'm scared of being let down again. Whatever the reason, I often fail to really believe that God is going to come through for me. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego believed God would save them. 

But don't stop there. Look at what they said next: Even if he does not.

They believed God would save them (and probably prayed like they believed), but stood firm that even if he chose not to save them, they would not bow. Even if God let them die in the fire, they would not turn their backs on him. They would be faithful, regardless.

As we've started thinking about trying again for another baby, I can't help but ask myself if I would be as faithful. Would I refuse to bow, even if God does not give us a healthy pregnancy? Would I be faithful even if it doesn't seem like He is? 

What's interesting about this text is that God did eventually save Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But it was only after they had walked through the fire. 

I think it's the same for us. Eventually, if we remain faithful, God is going to make everything right. Eventually. But that doesn't mean we won't have to walk through the fire first. 


  1. First of all, I wish you the best of luck in trying again, when you decide you are ready to start trying.
    Jason and I have started trying again, very soon after a loss, due to my age and our issues conceiving the first time. Let me tell you, they use the expression "these are trying times" for a reason. It is very difficult to put my faith in a higher power and let what will be be.
    I appreciate you sharing this Biblical story. Although I do not study the Bible myself, I am a Christian, I have an appreciation the teachings.
    I think that I share the same fears as you, although I phrase it differently in my mind. My biggest fear is that we will not get pregnant easily, or at all, or that there will be complications again that ultimately lead to another loss. Actually, that is my second biggest fear; my biggest fear is that faced with one of those scenarios, I become bitter and resentful. I dread the possibility that I may become unable to accept things as they are with grace. To my way of thinking, there is a tremendous difference between feeling disappointment and anger about a particular outcome, but accepting it, and feeling bitterness and resentment. I'll have to keep Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in mind, and remember how they accepted God's Will:
    "But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:18).

    1. I can totally relate to your fear of becoming bitter and resentful. That's a huge fear of mine too-that I won't be able to accept whatever my future holds. Thanks for your comment. And your prayers. I'll be praying for you and Jason as well.

  2. I loved this post! So honest. It's hard to stand stron but when you do we become stronger. Have you ever done genetic testing? I'm not sure of you have but I think it might e beneficial. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    1. We haven't. At least not yet. It's just so expensive, and since we have one healthy biological child, our ob/gyn doesn't think that's the problem. We might look into it in the future, though. Thanks so much for praying!

  3. Oh, the "but if He does not..." So, so, so important. Thank you for pointing this out, Lindsey.

    (I hope it's okay, but I'm sharing a link to this post on Today's Housewife today. Thanks for writing it.)

    1. Absolutely it's okay! I'm honored. Thank you so much, Caroline!!