Doubting God

?Pray that God will do what is best for her,? Uncle Paul said.

That did not sound very encouraging. I had expected him to say something that steeped with more hope. If God wanted to help, He should restore Mum back to health, I reasoned silently. That is what God is for ? to answer all prayers. Nevertheless, that day was also the first time in my life that I had prayed with all my heart and sincerity. ?Heal Mum, and I will be a believer. I will dedicate my life to spreading Your Word to all who care to listen,? I bargained with God.

My eyes were closed and my mind deep in prayer when I saw the most blissful sight of Mum, her face smiling and radiating a soft soothing brightness unlike anything I had seen before. And when I saw her being lifted up by two angels, her expression was still as serene. A few hours later, Mum breathed her last in my arms as I whispered into her ear, telling her that she is with Jesus already.

I sat there looking at Mum?s lifeless body as immeasurable pain ate into my soul. ?Why have You not answered my prayers?? I asked God. ?This is the only time I have asked you for anything.?

I wondered if there really is a God then. If there is, He obviously did not answer my prayers, one that came from the heart, the heart of a grieving son. If God does not answer prayers, what good is there in praying? What good is there in worshipping a God who just watches and does nothing? All I knew was that God had not given me what I had asked for. That was reason enough for my skepticism.

If truth be told, my prayers were answered not the way I wanted but in a way that was the best for Mum, like Uncle Paul had said. She no longer suffered, her soul freed from the body that no longer could sustain it. Did God answer my prayers? I truly believe that I was given that vision just before Mum passed away for many reasons, above all in answer to my prayers.

I was blessed with the privilege to see Mum in such peaceful composure for one last time. After so many months of seeing her in absolute agony, that angelic image of her greatly soothed me. That image of Mum is now eternally imprinted in my mind ? that beautiful serene face that smiled to me and seemed to be saying that all is well with her again. That is how I want to remember Mum. That is how I will remember Mum. Does God answer prayers? In His own ways, in His own time, all prayers are answered. No doubt about that.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

14 thoughts on “Doubting God”

  1. Peter,
    That is the most beautiful vision! Thank you for sharing that bit about the angels because these tiny miracles are what keep us going each day, getting closer to God, waiting for the joyous day when we can be together with our loved ones again.

    Did I tell you that once I had a dream of visiting Vincent? I went to this luxurious lounge and needed a special PIN to enter the door. (yeah, I do dream in technicolors) When I talked to him, he said ‘my mother and father are taking care of me’. This dumb me even argue that ‘I am your mother!’. So, I woke up feeling pretty ‘cheated’. Back then, I am still do not know who is Father, God and Jesus (and definitely do not know that Mother is the Blessed Virgin Mary). Few days later, I was in Holy Spirit for RCIA and there was a procession for the BVM. My (later turn) godmother uttered ‘today is Mother’s birthday’ and wham… it dawned on me right there, in the grotto that I had received the most beautiful message in my dreams. That Vincent is with God, the Father and Mother Mary is watching over him.

    The All Souls’ Day mass this morn is very calming and comforting. We observed a minute of silence to remember all our departed ones and all I can think of are the glorious times our loved ones have in Heaven.

  2. I have my doubts about God sometimes too. It’s hard to always remain faithful but it’s normal for every Christian. When we pray and God doesn’t answer our prayers, well, it means He’s saying ‘no’ I guess.

  3. Lilian,
    It is visions like these that strengthens our faith. They may mean nothing to others. To us who were blessed with it, we know without a doubt that God is listening and watching over us.

    God may say “no” but when He closes one door, He always opens another. With God, there is never a cul-de-sac.

  4. The experience that you wrote of in the passing over of your Mum was significant on several levels and let you know that the integrity of the self and the soul exists beyond the possibility of annihilation, as you yourself will continue to exist regardless of which path you choose to take – dying within two years, or living physically on for many more.

    In other words, you will continue to exist and to be fulfilled within that love you sensed.

    In the entire fabric of your existence, this life is a brilliant, eternally unique and precious portion, but only a portion, from which you emerge with joy and understanding whether you die tomorrow or in years to come. The choice of life and death is always yours.

    Life and death are but two faces of your eternal, ever changing existence, however feel and appreciate the joy of your own being. Many live into their nineties without ever appreciating to that extent the beauty of their being.

    Your Mum had lived before, and will again, and a new life springs out of the old, and is growing in the old and contained within it as the seed is already contained within the flower.

  5. There are times when I doubt God too especially when I’m going through a difficult phase in my life or when someone dear to me is suffering due to illness. But then, when I sit down and think about it…what good is life without any sufferings?
    It is said in the Bible that God disciplines those whom he accepts as his son and because God loves us so much, that is why he disciplines us. Everytime I read this passage in the bible, I really blessed that God loves me so much. God knows his so well that He will not give us anything that we cannot handle.
    There are many passages in the bible about faith. Each one of them hits at me everytime I feel down..and everytime I read them, I feel my faith in God strengthened.
    You are right Peter, God answers our prayers in His own way and in His own time 🙂

  6. Mwt,
    The gist of my entry was whether God answers prayers and from what I have gone through, He does, only that it is not usually how we want it.

    In going through the bad only can we truly appreciate the good. What struck me most about praying is what was quoted during Mass two weeks ago: Our prayers do not change God, but it is we who are changed through prayer. And that brings me back to the Serenity Prayer. When we pray, we surrender ourselves to God, certain that His wisdom granted to us will pull us through the toughest of ordeals.

  7. Light thy candle say a silent prayer
    God shall listten for he is always there.

    Peter Like you said our prayers may not
    be answered in the way we want , but
    through god we find the strength and
    will to live out this life the best we can.

    I’m glad you received the beautiful vision
    of your mother.
    I believe we are given signs ,to know our
    loved one’s that have left are safe in gods care.

    cyber friend hugs 2 u take care

  8. Sweetspirit,
    That vision was more than a sign that Mum had been delivered from her worldly sufferings. It totally changed my conviction in the Divine and has become the basis of my faith.

    True because we only see what we want to see.

  9. Hey Peter,
    That was incredibly candid. Often we go to God with our problems and with our solutions to our problems! We never really trust God enough to let him come up with the solution himself. We bargain and bribe and think we are smarter than he is…….. However many times in my life things have happened which I have been angry at God for letting happen…… Until a while later when I can look at things from a removed perspective that I understand that things have a way of working out for the better. Though we may not agree; but there is a purpose for all of us we just have to step up and accept it.

    But that is just me, I could be completely wrong! Hope not! But reading this post was very poignant for me and I am sure for many as we all have done this before. Your mum is in a better place than we are, and I am sure she is extremely happy! My prayers are with you and your mother!

  10. Dee,
    I was desperate and not a God-fearing person then. The desperate man in me was grabbing at anything hoping for that flicker of hope. But God works in mysterious ways. We can only try to understand his purpose for us. It may seem like He has abandoned us when our prayers go unanswered. In the end, when we look back, we can only marvel at his wisdom in shaping us to be better by making us go through what we went through. I am glad I finally found God in the most painful of circumstances. The ordeal has changed me for the better. God is always right even when we are sure that he is very wrong.

    Thank you for your prayers.

  11. You’re right. He answered your prayer and set her free. She’s not in ‘a better place.’ She’s in the Perfect Place. She’s in His presence.

  12. Marita,
    I can say with conviction that God always listens to our prayers. How He answers is another matter. If we have faith, we must leave it to His wisdom and not force things our way.

Comments are closed.