“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21
I’m sure we all know how Martha felt and have said similar things ourselves. The truth is God could have stopped her brother from dying.
So how do we respond when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want him to or as quickly as we want him to? Do we feel disillusioned? Or do we acknowledge he is our Heavenly Father and can be trusted whatever the outcome? After all, ultimately God is in control and we have very little control over most things. This can be difficult if our sense of security is linked to being able to organise our circumstances. Slowly but surely, as we commit our circumstances to the Lord, our trust in his divine care will grow.
The Bible teaches that Jesus was familiar with suffering—he experienced it for himself. It’s likely Joseph died while Jesus was still living at home in Nazareth and there’s no reason to think Jesus wouldn’t have experienced all the normal difficulties of living in a fallen world including questions surrounding the legitimacy of his birth. Jesus knows what we go through, yet during his time on earth, he was able to experience joy and peace in the midst of troubles.
So we never have to feel alone with our problems or feel no one understands. Even if the people around us don’t understand, we have Jesus our high priest who goes through every experience with us. Rather than trust our feelings we can choose to believe that God knows best. He acts in our best interests, though not always for our convenience. His presence and care will always be enough.