Sometimes I get discouraged because my sister passed away from cancer at the age of 32 and for a whole year I prayed and prayed and prayed and then she passed away. It just sometimes makes me question if God is really listening. Why would He not listen to my prayer but maybe listen to someone else’s?
First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your sister. I think that one of the most discouraging things in the whole Christian life is praying for something and then not seeing it happen and not seeing the answer. What do you do in a situation like that, especially when it’s somebody as close as your sister; somebody that you’ve loved and prayed for.
Where I find comfort in a situation like that is in John chapter 20. When Jesus came to appear to his disciples, there was one of the disciples that said that he didn’t believe that Jesus appeared. He wanted to see the nail prints in His hands and the spear in His side and before he would believe. Jesus appeared to Thomas, and He said, “Behold, Thomas, look at my hands and look at my side. Now, don’t be unbelieving, believe.” Then, of course, Thomas fell to his knees and fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “My Lord and my God.” What did Jesus say? He said, “Thomas, you’ve seen, and you have believed. But blessed are those that have not seen and yet, they have believed.”
I think that though I want to see and believe, I want to see your sister healed so I can believe and I want to see other things happen to help me believe. I want to see the dead raised so I can believe and I want to see the lame walk so I can believe. Jesus said the greater blessing is when we can believe Him and believe His Word and believe His promises even when we haven’t seen the manifestation of those things. The greater blessing is to keep believing even when it looks worse and even when it looks like it failed or even when it looks like God didn’t answer our prayers.
We don’t know all the answers behind why your sister died. You’ll never know until you stand before God and until He shows you in heaven. We don’t know why certain tragedies happen in our lives and in our loved ones’ lives, but we do know this; we’ll be blessed, we’ll be happy, we’ll be prosperous, and we’ll be successful heart and in our minds when we believe even when we have not seen.
There’s nothing wrong with having questions. What you have to realize is that none of those questions are going to get answered by other people, none of those questions are going to get answered by your own heart, those questions are only going to be answered by God. What we find is that the Bible has the only answers that we can count on having for sure in this life, but when we get to heaven, whatever is missing, whatever we didn’t understand, whatever we didn’t know, we’re going to know then.
The good news is, if your sister was a believer (she was) then you need to look at her life on the side of eternity. Once she fought, and you fought for her, you both did all the fighting you could, but yet, she went home to be with the Lord. Now, there’s nothing to fight. There’s no cancer in her body, there’s no sickness in her body, she is completely healthy and completely healed, and she has an immortal body that will never be sick again, and you should rejoice in that. Rejoice in the hope that you will see her again.
It won’t be long because even though you might live 40 or 50 more years, it’s but a twinkling of an eye in the face of eternity. I pray that God will comfort you by the Holy Spirit in the absence of your sister and that He’ll be more to you than a sister or a brother could ever be. He’ll be a friend that sticks closer than a brother like it says in Proverbs chapter 18.