Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 17th, 2017.
Boomerangs. An interesting word to start off this post, but I was thinking today that people commonly treat prayer like it is a boomerang. What I mean is that we quickly throw a “Hail Mary” up to God and hoping that is immediately directed back to us [similar to how a boomerang, upon reaching its apex, curves back to the person who threw it].
To be honest I have been in a “boomerang” type of mindset relating to the subject of prayer for most of my life. It has only recently that I began to see prayer as being more of “like a game of catch with God”. Let me show you what I mean.
Playing catch involves two people just like prayer is a two-way communication with God. Catch also involves a trust on the 2nd person by the 1st person to receive the ball back–similarly God will always answer our prayers and “toss” them back to us. The only difference is the length of time it takes for God to respond and sometimes we feel a sense of abandonment.
Why Does God Abandon Us?
Well, for the past half-year I have experienced an intense feeling of abandonment from God in my life. In November 2014, my wife and I suffered a miscarriage of our baby.
Earlier that day, we were at the hospital and were able to see Jeremiah’s heartbeat. Hours later my wife miscarried. She suffered quite dramatically during the ensuing two months. I, however, remained quite stoic–I wanted to put up a steel resolve, to be strong for my wife. But a parent suffering a miscarriage is devastating for many reasons.
I felt like I could not tell anyone about this because my baby was never born. Each month leading up to his due date [June] was like a dagger reopening the wound in our hearts that never fully healed.
I experienced a sense of abandonment. Where was God in all this suffering?
Going to the scriptures for comfort I reflected on Matthew 27:46. Jesus utters the words, “My God my God, why have you abandoned me?” It sounds eerily similar to my cries to God these past six months. A contextual read of the bible will show that Jesus is praying Psalm 22–a psalm of lament. Now a lament is a prayer of anguish or sadness especially in a situation where one is angry at God.
Abandonment Leads to Awareness of God’s Presence
Knowing that Jesus also experienced a sense of abandonment gives me hope. Weird as that might sound; Jesus’ loneliness on the cross is immediately followed by his resurrection (see Matthew 28). There is hope on the horizon for my family and I strongly urge anyone who is reading this post that prayers of lament are as legitimate as prayers of praise.
I’ve been seeking to employ a “boomerang” prayer and seeking a fast answer. Instead, I need to embrace a “cocoon-like” [lonely] period in my relationship with God before He returns my prayers in greater blessing that I could have ever anticipated.
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