Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a “Life Hanging in the Balance” situation for yourself or someone you love dearly, or if you or someone you love dearly have had to endure extreme long-term pain, life struggles, or threatening situations.  Keep your hands up if you prayed fervently for God’s intervention and the outcome you wanted.  Of course you did. You can put your hands down.
   Did you get the answer you asked for? If “Yes,” what has been your long-term response.  You fervently prayed and thanked Him over and over (You did, didn’t you? Luke17:11-19), But LONG term is what is under consideration. If you recall, the Israelites had really short term memories. Israel’s (Miriam’s) song “The horse and rider has he thrown into the sea” was soon replaced by complaining about no food, no water, and “there’s bugs out here in this wilderness.” (I made up that last part.) Only two of the twelve spies remembered God’s mighty deeds for them when it came time for a scouting report (Numbers 13). Forgetting is normal, but don’t assume it’s OK.
   Joshua had stones set up to remember that even though it was flood season God dried up the Jordan for them to pass over into Canaan.  Those stones were also to tell the story to future generations--a story of God’s goodness.  Perhaps we need memorials like that to help us to remember, and to tell, and to continue to thank and praise Him.
   But what if the answer you received to fervent prayers was not what you wanted? Are you afraid to raise your hand?  Did your faith waver?  Or perhaps you have seen His blessings to you throughout the intervening years--blessings possible only because God knows best and He had something far better in store for you. You
trusted Him. You are closer to God. Your agony and dependence on Him helped you grow as you agreed with the Psalmist’s declaration, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” (Ps. 73:25 ESV). The refiner’s fire (Mal. 3:3) has made you come out as gold (Job. 23:25).
With thanks to Garth Brooks and apologies for changing a few words, consider his song:



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