Author Topic: Why doesn't God answer right away when you need to know something important?  (Read 1963 times)

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Änσnymσus

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Or at least it seems to be the case with me, because I have read countless times that saints got answers to things they were asking/praying for even before they finished praying or by the time they finished.

I've also read stories here I believe, of people getting answers quickly etc.

But I have been praying for years to know something I believe to be very important, and have yet to receive an answer.

I have been wanting to know for about 7 years what to do with my life, as in, what job/career/business I should get into, because what I have been doing for the past year and a half is something temporary of its very nature and not enough to raise a family, much less save for the future/invest etc.

I'm 29 and male. I hate to have these thoughts, but why does God make it so hard? Why can't He give me an answer to what I have been asking for for years? Is this not important? If I knew the perfect answer to what my brother or father should do with their lives, I would not hesitate to let them know if they asked. Heck, I would let them know even if they didn't ask me at all, because I know they would probably be super grateful to know.

I absolutely hate not having a goal or not knowing what I should get into. Sure, I am learning some new things right now to get into a new industry and probably make more money, but I'm not sure I really like it and I don't know if it will pay off.

There's just too much information out there right now, and we can't be sure we will take the right decisions.

How does one even decide what to do? I would think God cares what I do for a living, so I don't really believe that it should be just about thinking what it is that you like the most and trying to pursue it and see if you make money with it. We can't see the future and we seldom have our best interests in mind, so why doesn't God let me know what I should do?

I'm not even asking for miracles or an instantaneous answer. But I would think anywhere from a week to a month would be reasonable, but seven years and no answer? I'm not getting any younger and the more time passes by, the worse things get. The less time you have to invest, buy a house, save money, raise a family, etc.

I've prayed almost the entire time for these 7 years, the Rosary in specific, and I have tried my best to live a clean, good life, but of course I have fallen and still fall often. Still, I have not given up and have been trying, but these kinds of things make me just want to throw in the towel and stop praying for good.

Änσnymσus

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That’s a tough spot to be in.  We’ve all been there, at times in our life.  Many times God uses such situations to test our Faith but also to help us learn perseverance and patience.  Further, as only God can do, He often is preparing us for future success, when He plans to answer us in a big, big way.  

As one of the Saints said, God originates the desires in our heart so that He can later fulfill such desires.  God never gives us desires He won’t fulfill, though they may not be on our timetable and in the exact way we picture it. 

The Saints often were answered in prayer but many times were not answered too.  But no matter the answer, they were satisfied because they usually didn’t pray for specific ends, but prayed for the goal of “God’s will”.  Thus, in any scenario, they were happy. 

Pray for fortitude, for courage, for hope.  Many times in life, we can look back and see how things made sense and worked out perfectly.  But in the moment, we can not see God’s wisdom at work, who knows all things - past, present and future.  He knew from all eternity that you would pray (and be challenged) by this situation.  Trust in His Divine Providence.  Trust in His plan.  And for the anxieties and sufferings you still have, offer them up for the souls in purgatory.  Suffering is a great grace. 


Offline Nadir

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Or at least it seems to be the case with me, because I have read countless times that saints got answers to things they were asking/praying for even before they finished praying or by the time they finished.

I've also read stories here I believe, of people getting answers quickly etc.

But I have been praying for years to know something I believe to be very important, and have yet to receive an answer.

I have been wanting to know for about 7 years what to do with my life, as in, what job/career/business I should get into, because what I have been doing for the past year and a half is something temporary of its very nature and not enough to raise a family, much less save for the future/invest etc.

I'm 29 and male. I hate to have these thoughts, but why does God make it so hard? Why can't He give me an answer to what I have been asking for for years? Is this not important? If I knew the perfect answer to what my brother or father should do with their lives, I would not hesitate to let them know if they asked. Heck, I would let them know even if they didn't ask me at all, because I know they would probably be super grateful to know.

I absolutely hate not having a goal or not knowing what I should get into. Sure, I am learning some new things right now to get into a new industry and probably make more money, but I'm not sure I really like it and I don't know if it will pay off.

There's just too much information out there right now, and we can't be sure we will take the right decisions.

How does one even decide what to do? I would think God cares what I do for a living, so I don't really believe that it should be just about thinking what it is that you like the most and trying to pursue it and see if you make money with it. We can't see the future and we seldom have our best interests in mind, so why doesn't God let me know what I should do?

I'm not even asking for miracles or an instantaneous answer. But I would think anywhere from a week to a month would be reasonable, but seven years and no answer? I'm not getting any younger and the more time passes by, the worse things get. The less time you have to invest, buy a house, save money, raise a family, etc.

I've prayed almost the entire time for these 7 years, the Rosary in specific, and I have tried my best to live a clean, good life, but of course I have fallen and still fall often. Still, I have not given up and have been trying, but these kinds of things make me just want to throw in the towel and stop praying for good.
A few random thoughts in response to your post:

You don't say anything about what you have done or what you are doing, what training or skills you possess, or what responsibilities you have right now.

Have you put aside a nest egg for your future?

Do you have a religious vocation?

Has God already answered you and you weren't listening?

It sounds almost as if you are expecting God to act/decide for you.

I wonder if you don't have too much choice. Most people in the world work to live, but you seem to imply that work is to be something you "like" and that pleases you.



Änσnymσus

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I tend to think of God's influence in our lives to be like a steering wheel. We know that when something isn't moving forward, the steering wheel can't help to move it in the right direction. But, when the vehicle is in motion, the wheel easily guides it down the right path.

I go about my life always trying to choose and do things for myself with the expectation that, through prayer, if my choices aren't the right ones, God will nudge me in the right direction by creating opportunities or obstacles depending on where He wants me to go.

So, set some goals and work toward them. If God doesn't approve, you'll know it when your plans fail and you have to make new ones.

Offline Stubborn

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Or at least it seems to be the case with me, because I have read countless times that saints got answers to things they were asking/praying for even before they finished praying or by the time they finished.

I've also read stories here I believe, of people getting answers quickly etc.

But I have been praying for years to know something I believe to be very important, and have yet to receive an answer.
Needless to say, we are not saints, but yes, sometimes answers happen astonishingly quickly - although not usually in the form of a clear answer to a question or to a prayer, rather, the answer sometimes comes across more like a result.

After 7 years, although I certainly don't know, it seems obvious to me that it is very likely that God accepts whatever it is you have been doing as being acceptable to Him, even if it's not fine with you.


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I absolutely hate not having a goal or not knowing what I should get into. Sure, I am learning some new things right now to get into a new industry and probably make more money, but I'm not sure I really like it and I don't know if it will pay off.

People learn many things, learn many trades and will sometimes, for a variety of reasons, even switch careers.

You're a young man and have no idea what your future holds - so let God know what your plans are and then do them - and ask Him often to guide you and bless whatever it is you decide you want to try - He can bless your efforts no matter what you do, just as He will offer you a way out if it turns out that endeavour puts your soul is in danger. Your soul, after all, is what God is mainly concerned with.

Keep the faith man, (Mat. 7:8 ) For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Whatever we ask necessary to salvation with humility, fervour, perseverance, and other due circumstances, we may be assured God will grant when it is best for us. If we do not obtain what we pray for, we must suppose it is not conducive to our salvation, in comparison of which all else is of little moment. (Haydock)
The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man." - Fr. Hesse


Offline Pax Vobis

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Here's some practical advice for the OP:

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I have been wanting to know for about 7 years what to do with my life, as in, what job/career/business I should get into, because what I have been doing for the past year and a half is something temporary of its very nature and not enough to raise a family, much less save for the future/invest etc.
We need more info from you, to help out.  Did you go to college?  What is your major?  If not, what kind of skills do you have?  What are your hobbies?  What interests you?

Can you start a side business to make extra money? 
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I absolutely hate not having a goal or not knowing what I should get into. Sure, I am learning some new things right now to get into a new industry and probably make more money, but I'm not sure I really like it and I don't know if it will pay off.
"Pray as if it all depends on God; act as if it all depends on you."  God often answers prayers by circumstances, or through people's advice, or through orders of superiors.  In other words, He does not normally speak directly to you.  Even in the lives of the Saints, their prayers were answered through NATURAL means, because we are natural creatures.

Secondly, a job is a job is a job.  Don't fall into the trap that a career will satisfy you, or that a career is what you should be looking for.  Few, few, FEW people in life have a career (I speak from experience here and the many, many friends I have who came to this realization).  The idea that we can all "find the perfect career" is a romantic ideal, much like the idea of "finding the one" in dating.  There isn't only one person you could marry and be happy with, and there isn't only 1 job path you can take to be successful.  The only types of people who have careers are those who are highly specialized - doctors, scientists, (and some types of) lawyers.  Every other skill is highly transferrable to many different types of companies and industries.

Thirdly, you should have multiple goals in life, many of them that have NOTHING to do with a job.  You should have health, religious, intellectual, social, hobby, and personal goals.  Don't let a setback/pause in one goal derail your progress in your other goals.  You are more than just a career. 

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How does one even decide what to do? I would think God cares what I do for a living, so I don't really believe that it should be just about thinking what it is that you like the most and trying to pursue it and see if you make money with it. We can't see the future and we seldom have our best interests in mind, so why doesn't God let me know what I should do?
Follow your talents, not your passions.  (Some people's talents and passions are the same - this is unique, not the norm).  You can have a passion for snowboarding but if you aren't good enough to go professional, you'll be a homeless snowboarder.  If you have a talent for mechanic work, then go develop your talent and you'll be successful.  Happiness is not a goal, it's a by-product from being successful.  If you work hard to develop your talents, you'll do good work, you'll be successful and you'll be happy because of it.

Most people have many varied talents, but 1 or 2 which stand out.  As Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do."  What do your hobbies tell you about your talents?  If you had 2-3 free days, how would you fill your time?  Go ask trusted people in your life to help you find this out.  Ask them what they think your talents are.  Seek wisdom from wise and trusted friends/family.  God will guide you through them.
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There's just too much information out there right now, and we can't be sure we will take the right decisions.
Don't over think it.  It's just a job.  Don't fall for "analysis paralysis".  Update your resume, post it out there.  Take some interviews.  Go see what happens.  You're still very young.  Try a different industry.  Try a different job setting.  Go find a job that pays more and give it a whirl.  Sometimes you won't know if you like something until you try it.  Fail until you succeed.

In today's economy, there is less and less stability since companies are merging with other companies and globalism forces them to change strategies constantly, which affects jobs and industry needs.   Many of us won't have stable careers; we won't be with the same company for 20+ years, or even 5.  You should probably look to change jobs every 1-2 years.  Companies setup their positions and expect employees to get bored and move up or move on.  Employees are expected to develop themselves; you do that by changing jobs, learning new skills from that new job, and having a wide variety of experiences.  Eventually you'll find a type of work you're good at or some general skills.  But that doesn't mean you won't keep having to change jobs.  Change is the new constant in the economy.

If you provide more details in this thread (or send me a PM) I might be able to give more specific advice.  I've been where you are (and in some respects, still am).

Änσnymσus

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Praying about what is God’s will for our lives is good - but we also need to do the leg work and can’t always expect to just get an answer handed down from Heaven. That’s not an accusation, it’s a fact. In my own life, I have had to “change hats” (for lack of a better phrase) several times by necessity. Sometimes, you begin a job/career with great expectation and hard work ethic and it doesn’t pan out. I worked for a friend where I did crazy hours all the time, hard slugging, getting up insanely early and getting home insanely late sometimes with very little pay that I had to bother them for, all with the promise of “one day this will pay off” and of course I found another job and walked away (the friendship is less then existent) and start again. But I was promised a great career! That’s life. It didn’t work out, move on. 

Yes it can be frustrating. But we can also offer our sufferings and struggles to God. We shouldn’t fall into the worldly career focused mentality that life is about a career and making money because many times we can loose our soul by going that path, but by seeing work and a career as God truly intended it, as a means and not the end. 

I will pray for you. 

Änσnymσus

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this sounds like my son.  He is age 40.  He went through dating 23 women since age 25, and they just were no good.  And mom, me tried to help him through it.  Then I instructed him with keeping his sacraments, which is very important.  He went from stocking at a grocery store, to driving a semi for swift.  That turned out ok for awhile and Swift went very bad and mom told him look for another job.  We prayed and he found a family owned business, here in Glendale.  HE hauls very large loads of building material throughout the area of Phoenix.  He has Sundays off and the family owned business is doing well and treat their workers very well.  My son trains now and then.

Mom and Dad, we, pray for all our children.  They know it, see it lived.  I instructed our son that the single life has it's place in life with God.  And IF God wants you where he does, do it for him.  If God wants you somewhere else, He will guide you there!  And take your angel with you always as you do Our Lady who wants Her Immaculate Heart to reign.  Please them, and continue on, doing your best.

Prayers for you in these evil times.  It becomes harder to find good company and be aware of the bad, says Our Lady. Those men who thought well of Our Lady would wear or carry a blue scarf in battle.  Keep a rosary in your pocket and say many rosaries.  God Bless You!  A Mom


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Sorry, this post was from Songbird.

Offline songbird

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Oh, my not 23 women, Ha!  3.  As my husband would say to me, "Goofy"!

Offline Ladislaus

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God rarely answers a prayer by direct locution.  He uses the movements of your mind and heart to direct you.  So go in the direction that you are inclined by your own lights, and if it doesn't align with God's will, He'll close a door.  And sometimes in closing a door, something happens that opens up another one, one that you would not have found had you not tried to get in that first door.  Also, God speaks to us through our spiritual directors.  He's much more subtle in the way He responds than you seem to want or expect.

There's the St. Ignatius rule for the discernment of spirits you should apply.  If you are making a decision, for instance, and it disturbs your peace of soul, then it's likely not a movement from God.  I would look into these rules and then work with a good spiritual director to help you discern your various paths.


Offline Ladislaus

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So, for instance, we're currently in the process of buying a new house.  This can have very serious ramifications towards the rest of our lives, depending on who our neighbors end up being.  Where you live can have a profound impact on your life.  So my wife and I are completely trusting God.

So we look at houses based on the various material criteria we have.  There was one house that had been on the market for 192 days.  We looked at it, considered it, and were leaning toward making an offer.  Within an hour after WE visited it, they had an offer ... despite it having been on the market for 192 days.  Exact same thing has happened to us 3 other times now.  Just as we're about to make an offer, we find that it was gone.  So we're still looking.  We absolutely see God's Hand in this.  Now, our criteria for choosing a home are not, despite what I said, COMPLETELY material; that was an oversimplification.  We think about what life would be like, and how it would be conducive to the good of our souls.  So, for instance, if there's a pool in the yard next door or relatively nearby, that's an immediate disqualifier.  I don't want my kids subjected to displays of immodesty.  Proximity to church and school are important.  And we're looking for something that would be conducive to tranquility and calm.  Then we have some other criteria ... like if there are stairs, there must be a landing (my daughter fell down a long flight of stairs at a previous home we had and broke her arm), there has to be a finished basement (because we are 8 and don't want people getting annoyed and aggravated by lack of space).  There have to be at least 2.5 and preferably 3.5 bathrooms ... since our current 2 sometimes causes serious conflict.  So kindof material, kindof not.  We also look around the neighborhood and ask neighbors about it.  Are there people walking around who look like they might be bad news?  We also want for our kids to have some contact with nature, a decent-sized yard with trees, a place to have a garden, etc.  We consider this important for their spiritual welfare.

In any case, we are applying our own criteria, which we developed by the light of grace, but are essentially giving God "veto power".  So, for instance, we saw a house that we like a lot.  But on the day we were visiting, this neighbor guy happened to be sitting out on his deck without his shirt on.  We made some inquiries and found that he was out there a lot like that.  Had we visited the house at a time when he wasn't out there, we would not have noticed this.  Years ago, when we were looking at another home, the neighbors just so happened to pull up.  They came over and introduced themselves.  Turns out they were a Lesbian couple.  So God works in subtle ways .... using a subtle combination of our own lights and inclinations (which prayer helps to hone into conformity with His Will) and circumstances that He will arrange for you.

So I would apply the same thinking with regard to a path in life.  Consider what would or would not please God.  Rule out jobs that would involve moral compromises.  Take into consideration your own personal inclinations and aptitudes.  If you're going to be miserable in a certain line of work, then it may lead to issues in your life, even your spiritual life.  So think it through, and try to make some decisions, leaving in in God's Hands.  If you trust Him, then He'll make sure you end up where He wants you.  Now, sometimes it doesn't end up as well as you expected, but know that He has a reason for everything and simply trust Him.  He'll use even our bad decisions for some good end ... even if it isn't obvious to us what that might be.  Lots of things have happened to me in my life where at the time I thought, "Why, God?" and then many, many years later I finally understood, "Oh, now I get it.  Had this not happened, then this other thing would not have happened."  But everything is really that way, except sometimes we don't find out until Eternity.

Offline Stubborn

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And sometimes in closing a door, something happens that opens up another one, one that you would not have found had you not tried to get in that first door. 
This is me all over the place. A few of those doors that closed, to put it mildly, were very hard to take, and the doors (ones I wasn't looking for, not by any stretch of the imagination) that opened and I walked into, were at least as hard to take initially.

But it didn't take too long before I saw why I took those exact paths - it's because for me, that was the only way to get me where I needed to be, which is where I now know for certain I am supposed to be - and I wouldn't have it any other way, not for anyone or anything in this world.

With your salvation as your number one priority, do whatever it is you strive to do and go where you will make what you need to make - and keep praying your rosary, 20 decades every day if you can, that way you'll cover for those days you can only get in 5, 10 or 15 decades.
The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man." - Fr. Hesse

Änσnymσus

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Oh, my not 23 women, Ha!  3.  As my husband would say to me, "Goofy"!
LOL, I wasn't going to say a thing ha ha, but thought, what the?

Offline Pax Vobis

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Lots of things have happened to me in my life where at the time I thought, "Why, God?" and then many, many years later I finally understood, "Oh, now I get it.  Had this not happened, then this other thing would not have happened."  But everything is really that way, except sometimes we don't find out until Eternity.
Totally agree.
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With your salvation as your number one priority, do whatever it is you strive to do and go where you will make what you need to make - and keep praying your rosary...
I think it was St Augustine who said "Love God and do what you want."  This corresponds to your point - if you put God first, He will guide you as you walk this earthly journey.


 

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