Do fireworks drip red rose pedals across the sky? Do purple butterflies dance to bright notes of joy?
Sometimes, yes. Faith can yield staggering miracles.
I know this is true because I've seen the cancer patient healed. I've seen lack met with a provision. I've even seen the crippled stand and walk.But other times, I've seen God answer faithful prayers with rivers of heartache.
I was recently speaking with Janet Parshall on her Moody radio show "In the Market" when a caller expressed that she'd fought the good fight of faith for her daughter's life, and her daughter died from cancer anyway.
I understood this mother's heartbreak because I'd recently lost the good fight for my own precious daughter's life.
So as I join this mother in the valley of the shadow, I too feel the pain of loss. Though the pain is unwelcome, I realize that my pain is a direct connection to God. I mean, didn't He suffer the loss of his only Son? Because of the death (and resurrection) of God's Son, Jesus, I know that my daughter still exists with Him, in the dimension of heaven that I am not yet able to experience or fully understand.
The other day, I asked God what Laura was up to in heaven. I believe He whispered to my heart that she was learning to sing in a heavenly choir.
"Is this choir made up of other children who were also formerly disabled?" I asked.
My heart rang with these stunning words: "Linda, by the time you get to heaven and look back on your earthly life, you will see that you were all formerly disabled."
Somehow as I stand in the valley of the shadow, I have found hope and peace. I am learning, imperfectly most days, to hold on to God. I still cry, but I marvel at the beauty of trusting God, even through incredible loss.
Dear Lord, Whenever I have to walk through the valley of the shadow, please be with me and show me that true prayer of faith is trusting You, even when I don't get my prayers answered the way I'd hoped. For You are our Hope and Healer here on earth as well as in heaven In Jesus' name, Amen.
Linda Evans Shepherdis a nationally known Christian speaker and a bestselling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries,founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder ofGodTest.com. Her latest book is When You Need to Move a Mountain.