When Questions Are Many and Answers Are Few

Gwen SmithBlog, Christian Living 19 Comments

As the basketball game heated up and the man-to-man coverage got up close and personal, he took an elbow to the ear. Seconds later his world went silent on the traumatized side. Stunned, he continued to play and pointed to his ear as he ran down the court telling his coach about the situation.

“I can’t hear in my left ear!”

Wait, what? I read his lips from the stands and wondered if I accurately interpreted what my son had just communicated. (My stomach did the I-hate-when-my-kids-get-hurt twist.)

“I think he just told the coach that he can’t hear out of his left ear!?” I said to the friend beside me.

My guess proved to be accurate. Preston came out of the game and spoke with the athletic trainer. She listened to the recap of what happened, evaluated his ear, and then allowed him to go back in the game since he wasn’t in pain and no bleeding was visible. He finished the game in an oddly muted reality.

We got home late with our tall, tired teen and decided that we would get him in to see a doctor if his hearing didn’t come back or improve by the next day. Morning did not bring the healing we had hoped for, so we headed to the urgent care.

The doctor listened to the accident recap and then looked inside Preston’s ear. He saw through the tympanic membrane and quickly identified the source of the silence: bloody fluid had puddled on the other side of his eardrum due to the blunt force of the trauma.

The bad news? There was no immediate solution for the hearing loss. An invasive procedure could be done by a specialist but wasn’t recommended.

The good news? He said that Preston’s hearing should return, and his ear would eventually heal. His body would absorb the fluids over time. We’d just have to wait. It could take a few days. Possibly even a few months.

The diagnosis was as much sweet as it was bitter, but honestly, we were hoping for a quicker solution. A speedier healing. A faster resolution.

When our hearts are wounded from unexpected relationship traumas, we often want to click a simple prayer button and make everything whole and well.

When questions are many and answers are few, we want vision for a mile but often get just enough sight for the next step.

When our overspending choices slash us like falling prices, we try to throw a little sanitizing scripture on the gash of our debt and get out of it in the microwave minute of extended credit.

But life doesn’t work that way. Freedom doesn’t work that way. Quick faith fixes are not a Biblical guarantee. Healing often takes time… and sometimes it doesn’t look like we want it to look. The way we think it should look.

The writer of Hebrews had this to say, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

Yes. God does sometimes rescue and bring us healing immediately, but He’s not obligated to. He’s God, He’s able, and He’s sovereign. Remembering this helps me to trust Him when life gets scary and stressful.

I think about this, and a barrage of questions flood my mind.

Are there lessons to be learned in this lingering?

What if God wants to use the strains, stains, and disappointments we face to refine us – restore us – strengthen us – and draw us to His side in our desperation?

What if God plans to teach us to know Him in new ways as we struggle to hear, to hope, and to heal?

What if instant healing or quick answers would rob me of greater depth?

If these “what if” wonderings are on point, then I’m all for the waiting. Because I really do want to be a woman of depth. Don’t you? Isn’t that what faith is all about?

If I always get what I hope for right away and can always see clearly, then how will my faith grow?

While Preston waited on his healing, I prayed that the lessons we learned would be rich along the way. In the waiting of each trial, you and I will grow in faith as we lean in closely to listen to the whispers of the One who is trustworthy in all things seen and unseen.


Dear Lord, You are all-knowing and all-powerful. All wisdom, grace, compassion, and strength are Yours. Please, forgive me for the times when I tell You how to fix me. I need You, Lord, and I choose right now to trust the plan of healing You have for me and my loved ones. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



What trial has your faith stretched and strained right now?

Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.

LOVE doing life with you, friend.



Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL. Ready to narrow the gap between ordinary faith and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word? Order yours today from Amazon, Gwen’s website or from your favorite retailer.





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Comments 19

  1. Dear Gwen,

    I am so thankful for your devotions, I have kept some from long ago and I keep going back to reread them. This is a wonderful devotion to help me get through the steps of my husbands cancer. God has something for us as me and I am praying.
    I miss getting your emails, so glad I have kept some older ones. Thank you.

  2. I need prayer as I seek God’s guidance in the next step of caring for my 93 year old dad. He currently lives alone, but on our property. He has a caretaker 5 hours each morning and 1 hour each evening; 5 days a week. He has dementia and is getting consistently weaker. My husband and I are both 70. While I have minor health issues, my husband has several serious health conditions, and I essentially ‘care’ for him as well. I believe it is time to move my dad into full time care in a foster home setting. My brothers are not in agreement with me (one sees him every other weekend, the other sees him about once every 3 months or so). I have POA; so I know I have the right to the ultimate decision, but do not want this to tear a family apart.

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      Hi Marie! Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I actually own a senior home care agency, so I’m intimately familiar with this kind of scenario and strain. Praying for you now!


  3. This message was spot on for me. My adult daughter is seriously ill and her journey is long and a most difficult struggle ! As her Momma, I want to fix it, for her to be better – it’s already been years. But I can’t fix it, only God can. And I must trust His plan for her. I won’t lie, It’s not easy and sometimes I cry out to Him. But I totally know that He is with my girl and with all of us who love her- her husband and kiddos, her brother and me too-through all of this most challenging time.

  4. Thank you for your ministry. A failed meniscus surgery and many dr. bills-so many. I am in so much pain. My leg is caving in. I will have a total knee replacement on May 26. This is my 3rd surgery in 3 years. I am tired, and my finances are drained. Please pray for my complete healing and restoration of finances. Yes, and let me see what God wants me to see and how He wants to use me in this time. Thank you.-Karen

  5. Oh, Gwen, this devotional is so timely for me!! I had hip replacement surgery last July, and the debilitating pain I’m left with has been so hard!! I realize, however, that God has slowed me down so I can spend quality time with Him, something my all-too-busy self couldn’t seem to do when given a choice. So I am grateful for the time I’m spending with Him, getting to know Him and understand His heart. Thank you for the article, which spoke volumes to my heart ❤️.

  6. Thank you Gwen. I try every day to lean on my trust in Jesus. Some days the fear and doubt are loud. I struggle with Crohn’s disease. Right now I am dealing with medication changes and insurance decisions and side affects of the disease. It’s all very stressful. I’m so tired of being sick and many days I don’t understand why my healing hasn’t come. I fear what is happening inside my body that can’t be seen. I fear if all the medication I take is working or not. Thank you for the reminder to trust in Jesus and His plan. I need to pray this prayer everyday.

  7. Perfect timing for this one. It is month #6 of my battle with breast cancer. Surgery #3 (a double mastectomy) is scheduled for May 22nd & it is easy to cry out, “Heal me already!” or “What are You waiting for?” or “Why don’t You love me, God?”, but it is words like you shared today that help me remember that God has a plan. Everything that is happening is according to His will and is in His perfect timing. We are truly blessed, even in our struggles.

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      Praying for the PEACE, HEALING, GRACE and STRENGTH of JESUS to cover you fresh today, Gwen! He is with you, has gone before you, is ABLE and CARES. Trust His heart and plan. He LOVES you and has great compassion for all who are suffering.

      Love and hugs,

  8. Good Morning, I’m struggling with not being in the same state as my son and grandson. My son has lupus/Raynaud and congestive heart failure. The Raynaud’s is so bad that is rotting off his fingers and toes. He uses drugs to ease his pain. He has depression and anxiety from the constant pain. My grandson, lost his ability to speak when he had a stroke at 2 1/2 years old. He can hear, just not able to speak. He got bitten by a mosquito and got West Nile. He is now turning 22 years old. They are poor and live off of very little. He hasn’t gotten the help he needs for helping him communicate. I do what I can to help everyone. I work because if I didn’t I would not be able to help them. I’m now 64 and in good health. I want to land a job closer to them. I live in CT and I want to move back to Ga. I have no family here. I came here because I got remarried. He left me about 6 years ago. Help me with prayers. I have been working hard at excepting that I deserve the love of the Lord. I pray so much that I feel like I’m taking up time from others. I keep filling out applications but no responses. I have worked in Corrections since 1984. I went back to college and earned my Ph.D. in Philosophy in Psychology. I want to teach to undergraduates. They all are looking for someone with at least one year of teaching. I have a lot to offer, I just need a chance. I know I’m 64 years old, but I have a lot of life and love to give back. My work has always been in public service. The part of corrections that offers offenders job skills, so they can go back to society with a marketable job. I need prayers. I also need strong advise from someone besides myself. Thank you for listening, If I’m being totally ungrateful, I want to know how to do what is right. Asking for prayers! Thank you in advance for your valuable time. Anne

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      Oh, Anne. Thank you for sharing your burdens today. Family dynamics like this are a heavy load to bear … but you’re not alone. This community is lifting you up – carrying you and your family to JESUS – and asking for HIS wisdom, provision and power to go before you in distinctly personal ways. Expect the LORD to be at work on your behalf. Trust His timing and His heart for you and your family. Move when HE says move. Lean in to listen as HE leads. Praying for you now!


    2. Anne, I am praying hard for you this morning! Always remember God is never to busy for you and he loves you. I’ll be praying that you find a new job in Georgia if this is Gods plans for you. God bless you ❤️

  9. Life feels rock bottom and I need God’s strength to know how to be lifted again. Some of it is my own doing and regret keeps me from believing that each day there are new mercies and grace. I know God has called me to this, but I certainly messed it up in self-centered ways.

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      Hi Michelle! I know what it’s like to wallow in shame and self deprecation. The good news is: our right standing with GOD – our restoration and renewal is NOT up to us! It’s all about JESUS… and the price HE paid for us to be redeemed and set free. Move forward in HIS FREEDOM today. Don’t look back, look up! GRACE abounds when there is repentance and confession. Get with the LORD… and be restored. HE’S ALL ABOUT RESTORATION AND REDEMPTION.

      Grace and peace,

  10. My relationship with my eldest daughter is strained and I don’t even know why. My youngest is trying to conceive and nothing is working.

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      Ugh… family is such a blessing and a stressing at the very same time! Praying for these things now, Anne.


  11. Everything around me is falling down and I am not meeting my obligations. It appears that I am losing control.

    1. Praying for you, Enid. Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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      Sorry to hear this, Enid. Sounds like a rough season. We all have them for sure. Praying for you to rise up in the strength, dignity and joy of the LORD… and move forward with grit and grace! HE IS ABLE to do more than you can ask for or imagine in and through you! TRUST HIS POWER at work within you and remember that He who began a good work will be FAITHFUL to complete it.

      Onward, friend. In HIS grace…

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