When my uncle died in November 2013, I was distraught. It's not like we were close or anything - I hadn't seen him in years until the September before his death. Before he got sick, he had been telling my mum that he was going to be at my wedding. The whole family was praying for months and months. I specifically used Bible verses to pray, because I was scared and thought that if I could read God's words back to Him, He didn't have a choice but to answer my prayers. (FACT: My Ogoni name means God Answers Prayers).
Anyway, my uncle died and it shook me to my core. For one thing, it hurt to see my mum, her siblings and my grandparents heartbroken. Secondly, I couldn't understand why God didn't answer our prayers. I mean, didn't He say "Ask and it will be given?" My faith and belief in God was shaken!
I stopped praying. I couldn't open my Bible to read anything. Going to church became a chore, and one that I didn't want to do. I was angry at God - and then feeling guilty at being angry at Him.
Eventually though, I remembered the verse about PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING. I was going through a time where I didn't UNDERSTAND why my uncle died, why his family and friends had to be grief-stricken, and most especially why God didn't answer our prayers. I didn't UNDERSTAND. But that verse, Philippians 4:7 says,
I finally prayed. It wasn't a long prayer, but it was what I needed for that season: "God, I'm angry and I'm hurting and I don't understand why. But your peace is above understanding. So please please please, I beg of you, just give me peace. I'm losing my belief, I'm losing my trust. I don't want to, but I am. So you have to give me peace to make it through. Just give me peace."
I prayed this prayer for a long time, and even still do. Whenever someone I know loses a loved one, I pray for comfort, grace and above all, peace to help them hang on. And if you're in that position, that same prayer goes up for you.
Okay, so that's what I wanted to share.