Tricia Lott Williford is a remarried widow, and she is closely acquainted with the desperate, lonely feeling that God has overlooked her while He gives miracles to other people. Six years ago, her husband was healthy and vibrant and here. After a twelve-hour illness, he died suddenly, leaving her as a widowed single mom with two fatherless children who weren’t yet in kindergarten. Take a look at her honest words on how we can still believe God is good, even when we feel like he has overlooked our pain. It’s a grace to welcome Tricia to the farm’s front porch today…
I have a really hard time with stories of miraculous healing.
It’s not because I don’t believe it happened to that person, it’s not that I don’t believe it’s possible, and it’s not because I don’t believe God can—and does—heal when He wants to.
It’s just that it hasn’t happened in my life.
When God gives to other people in a way He hasn’t given to you, it’s easy to feel left out, and it’s hard to want to hear how good He has been to other people.
When miracles are happening around me, sometimes the sovereignty card is a hard one to hold.
It’s hard to keep your confidence when you feel overlooked.
Perhaps you’re in this place right now — where miracles are happening all around you while you’ve been asking God for one.
Maybe someone you love is ill with cancer, paralysis, or dementia.
Maybe you or someone you love is dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, a different mental disability, or thoughts of suicide, and you’re asking God to heal their mind and lift that oppression from them and from you.
Maybe you live with the sorrow of infidelity or infertility, or maybe you’re recovering from a miscarriage or the unspeakable heartbreak of losing a child.
Maybe you’re reeling with unwanted singleness.
Perhaps you know how pervasive loneliness can be, especially inside a difficult marriage.
Maybe you’re aching over a financial crisis, an embarrassing failure, an ongoing conflict in your family, a loss of reputation, or a prodigal child you wish would come home.
Maybe you wish your parents would get back together or stop fighting.
Maybe you wish your depression would go away, or you could stop cutting yourself, or start eating. Maybe you wish you could see the beauty in you, or maybe you wish you could disappear all together.
Maybe you have a miracle that you begged God for, and He said no.
Maybe you haven’t reconciled that severe brokenness, and you’re still pretty angry and hurt. My goodness, I get that.
As Nancy Guthrie writes in her book, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow, “Some claim that strong faith is defined by throwing our energies into begging God for a miracle that will take away our suffering and then believing without doubt that He will do it. But faith is not measured by our ability to manipulate God to get what we want; it is measured by our willingness to submit to what He wants.”
The truth is, there’s no formula we can count on for when Jesus says yes and when He says no.
That’s the catch with sovereignty: He gets to decide yes, no, if, when, and how.
We can’t figure out what He’ll decide, and we can’t base our own confidence on His favor. We can, however, base our confidence on His faithfulness.
Miracles are temporary, but the word of Jesus, His teachings—they bring eternal life.
Real life. Your faith in Him, your belief that He is real, even when the miracle isn’t yours, even when He doesn’t say yes to you—this is what brings eternal life.
If our hope is centered in this life, in what we will have while we are here, then we will forever be disappointed.
But if we hope for what we do not have, if we believe God is for us, then we can wait patiently for what He has promised. Our ability to endure hardship is almost limitless—if we have the confidence to live in hope.
Where are you struggling with God in your life?
In what circumstances do you need to hear God say to you—even in the midst of your deepest longing, your deepest grief, your deepest desires unmet—“Do not be afraid; trust Me”?
It might begin with you simply confessing that you don’t trust Him.
Today — start the discipline of being honest with God. Write it down, draw it, or sing it. Just promise to be honest.
My journals bind the pages of my life. I have been deeply and brutally honest with God about my anger, doubts, and loneliness. I have written down breaths of honesty I could not bear to say out loud.
Saying to God, “Lord, I don’t trust you, but I want to,” is the beginning of hope when the miracle isn’t yours.
This is the root of confidence even when God doesn’t say yes.
Ask Him to show you where He is as He says no.
He’ll show you: He’s with you.
Tricia Lott Williford is a remarried widow, a writer, teacher, reader, and thinker, and the author of three books.
Tricia has recently released her third book, You Can Do This: Seizing the Confidence God Offers.
Join her in the pages, as she invites you into the confidence conversation. Readers will think, laugh, and gain confidence to do what is set before them. You will feel hopeful, courageous, strengthened, encouraged, present, and confident. And finally, readers will be equipped to implement simple strategies to inspire contagious confidence in themselves and others.
[ Our humble thanks to NavPress for their partnership in today’s devotion ]