Everyone's prayers in secret are the most important prayers in the world.
There is not one prayer that requires more trust than another. There is not one unmet desire that is of more value than another. We are all quietly longing for something more. And that something seems impossible to become a reality in its current state.
When I was a senior in high school, I didn't know how to find the right college of choice for me. But I ended up at the right school. When I was looking for a change of location in my first job after college, I had no clue where or how that door would open up. I also didn't know if my desire was genuine or selfish, but a door did eventually open to make the right change at the right time. When I knew it was time to leave that next job, I had no justification for why it was time...I just knew it was. I had no plans on the table, but in that season of uncertainty, I grew in the only manner I could: trust.
The season of uncertainty is the most important part of my journey towards what I desire. It forces me into dependence. It demands of me faith. It causes me to wrestle with motives. It refines me over time. It is consistently unsettling. It leads me to where my desires finally intersect with God's. It is usually only in hindsight that I realize all these things.
A man onced asked Jesus to heal his son, if he could. His son had been 'sick' since childhood. His sickness was outside of anyone's control. The father hoped, desired, and longed for his son to have a different life, but at this point his desires were unmet. There was a thick cloud of uncertainty surrounding him when he asked Jesus to answer his most important prayer in the world. "Make my son better, if you can."
Jesus said, "'If you can'? Everything is possible for him who believes."
The father replied in all his honesty, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" He was in the deep fog of uncertainty and all desire, hope, and trust were being tested. His questions in the darkest moments must have been as such:
"Is it even possible for my son to get better?"
"Should I just accept things as they are?"
"Perhaps this is simply my son's fate."
"I am ready to give up all hope for my son's healing."
Over the course of time, our unmet desires test us deeply. And I am learning that my unbelief will always need some helping in my seasons of uncertainty. The questions I ask of God need not be couched with doubt, but they will always be settled in uncertainty. Uncertainty of my request. Uncertainty in outcomes. Uncertainty even in my own motives.
What is certain is that He can help. But I am learning that the fog of uncertainty is the very thing I must learn to embrace. Therein lies the excitment of all the story. "How will this tension be resolved?" My prayers may not lead to immediate answers or increased clarity in the moment. But they can always lead to increased trust in the One who can...and does. His record in my own life always seems to put him on the winning side. Yet, that victory is often won in the way I least anticipate.
I am much like the father who asks of Jesus, "Help us, if you can."
May he help me in my unbelief as I wait in seasons of uncertainty.