We serve an all-powerful God. There is nothing He cannot do. He can heal in an instant; He can raise the dead and restore sight and hearing to the blind and deaf. There is no limit to His power. I have witnessed first-hand His healing power when my sister Wendi was six and slipped and hit her head. She was unconscious, cold and completely unresponsive for an hour. We were living in Mexico at the time and far away from a hospital. The Lord was our only hope. We prayed, and Wendi gradually began to warm up and woke up. She didn’t remember falling, and there was no trace—not even a bruise—of the accident. She was healed completely.
He can do anything, so why does He seemingly not do anything sometimes? Why does it seem like He doesn’t answer our prayers sometimes? When I was younger, I had a very wise Sunday School teacher who taught us about prayer. She told us that God always answers our prayers, we just need to be able to recognize how He is answering them. Sometimes He says yes. Sometimes He says “Wait a little while”. And sometimes He tells us “No”. He knows what is best for us and it is up to us to accept His will and not allow bitterness to take root in our heart.
This last week was a hard one. There were literally thousands all over the world praying for little Annaleigh, asking the Lord to heal her and raise her up. He chose to take her home. He answered our prayers, although maybe not in the way we had hoped.
Last summer a childhood friend of mine was found unconscious and not breathing. She was rushed to the hospital and was on life support for close to a week. They did not know what caused her to stop breathing, and we were sure that we were going to lose her. Prayers went up from all over and the Lord raised her up. She was healed completely.
He did this for her, so why didn’t He do this for Annaleigh? I have pondered this the last several days and in my prayers reminded the Lord of how He raised my friend up and asked Him to do the same for Annaleigh. When He did not, I accepted it as His will and rejoiced that Annaleigh was with Him. But there was still the question: “Why, Lord?” Then He brought something to my remembrance and it helped put things into perspective.
When I had been praying for Ashlyn last year, my prayers had been different in nature. While I prayed for healing for her, my main prayer was for the Lord to be merciful and give her a second chance to commit her life to Him. She needed another chance. I was interceding for her soul.
My friend grew up in and around church—both sets of grandparents were pastors. I don’t claim to know to what extent she was in church, but it appeared that she never made a commitment. Her parents divorced and she had very rough and tragic time of it. As she grew older her lifestyle didn’t show any signs of a dedicated walk with the Lord. I was very worried about her. So you can understand the urgency of mine and other’s prayers for her when she was on life support. The Lord, who is rich in grace and mercy, raised her up.
Last Sunday my father baptized her and her sister. Our prayers have been answered and she is safe.
Little Annaleigh didn’t need a second chance. She had never known sin. Her little purpose on earth was fulfilled and it was time for her to go home. His ways are above our ways. We can’t see the whole picture from where we stand. There are some things that we will never understand until we are in Heaven. It is not that He couldn’t raise her up. He could, but it was not His will to. Who knows what will come of this tragedy, and how it will be used for the Lord’s glory.
Please continue to pray for the Smith family.