The Big Picture

3 04 2016

Have you ever prayed for something, and didn’t get it? Have you ever prayed for someone to be healed, only to watch them die? How many times have you heard the preacher say to ask, and it shall be given to you? He was quoting Matthew 7:7, in which Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Several years ago, a young lady, who only a few years earlier had been a student in my sixth grade Sunday school class, gave birth to a beautiful little girl whom she named Cadence. However, Cadence was born with the rare birth defect, gastroschisis, in which the stomach and bowel are formed on the outside of the baby’s belly. Everyone at our church prayed for Cadence. Friends and co-workers of church members prayed. As I traveled the country on business, I wore a button with Cadence’s picture on it. People would see her sweet, smiling face on the button and ask about her; thus, opening the door for me to share her story. I had clients from North Carolina to California praying for Cadence. Flight attendants gave me cash or wrote unsolicited checks to donate toward her medical expenses and told me they would pray for her. There were thousands of people praying for Cadence but, sadly, she never recovered. Cadence passed away only nine days before her first birthday. Doesn’t that contradict Matthew 7:7? We asked but we weren’t given.

 

We all prayed that God would allow Cadence to live, and we were all disappointed. We later prayed to thank Him for the year He allowed her to be with us, for during her 356 days of life, Cadence brought a lot of joy to a lot of people. Many non-believers might point to Cadence’s death as proof that God doesn’t exist; or, if He does exist, He ignores our prayers. My daddy didn’t tell me the reason behind his decisions every time he told me I couldn’t do something, but he had a reason. He knew more as an adult than I did as a child. Likewise, God has a reason for the things He does and we don’t always know or understand His reasoning.

 

On the night before He was crucified, Jesus prayed these words, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” If God didn’t answer Jesus’ prayer, why should He answer ours?

 

The Bigger Picture

Jesus knew the horror of the crucifixion. He knew what was just hours away and the great suffering He would soon have to endure. He didn’t want to do it, and would have liked to have had a way out, but He knew, too, that there was a bigger picture. Someone would have to pay for the sins of mankind, and He was willing to sacrifice His own life so we wouldn’t have to. He saw the big picture. So, actually, God did answer Jesus’ prayer. Jesus prayed for God’s will and His prayer was answered.

 

We aren’t God, and we don’t always see the big picture, or know what God has in mind, and why He works as He does. But, there is a bigger picture. Just as Jesus did, we should pray for God’s will in all things and then rely on His wisdom. Yes, pray for specifics. Pray for healing for friends. But don’t be surprised if you find your prayer answered in a different way than you expect. After all, if He loved us enough to die for us, He certainly loves us enough to take care of us.

 

As for Cadence, I like the way my good friend, Lollibells the clown,  put it when she would encounter the death of a small child during her ministry to seriously ill children. She would say, “Daddy God wanted some beautiful flowers for His garden so He picked Cadence.” God has answered our prayers for Cadence…we just haven’t seen the big picture yet.

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5 responses

3 04 2016
JACKIE GARNER

thank you for remembering Lollibells in your post.Candace was used by Daddy God to have others reach out to one another to call out His name in her honor. Yes, He did take he,but not before she helped so many to turn to Him.Ad now she is dancing with Jesus in Daddy Gods garden.

3 04 2016
Bill Taylor

Thank you for the comment, Jackie and well said. I’ve never told you the impact you have had in my life but you are a special person and I consider you a very good friend. While your ministry targeted seriously ill children, you meant so much to parents and helped so many through some very difficult times. Who would think there would be a bright side to by-pass surgery? Getting to know you has been a positive result for me.

3 04 2016
Janet Robinson

Billy I’m so proud to call you my cousin. I so envy your beautiful life even though I try daily to keep the faith and do for the must part but I try to believe harder each day. You seem to do it so easily.
Pray for me that I keep the faith and become stronger during my troubled times. I do not let family or friends see the dark side of me as I put up a front quite a bit.
You are truly a blessing in my life even though we do not ever see each other or communicate on here often.
Love you cuz
Janet

3 04 2016
kay r barnes

wonderful post, brother dear. I was just the other day trying to explain the “big picture” to Kaylei. She has a lot of questions. It brought to mind so many times in my life when I would look back and say, “Oh, so that’s why that happened that way. Thank you God.”
Love you, Kay

4 04 2016
Bill Taylor

Thanks a million times over, sis! It’s reassuring to know that readers find what I post to be helpful. It affirms that I’m in tune with God ’cause I can’t write alone. Love you too!

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