So, do you think God still speaks to us today? Or do you believe He just created the world, set the auto pilot, stepped back and let it run? Maybe, if you are like me at times, you begin to believe the latter. God seems to be silent. You pray and seek His answers to your requests. Maybe you ask for His direction. Or maybe for something you want desperately to happen- like a job, a healing, a home, a baby. Or maybe its for someone else. Maybe you just want to know if He is there and listening. But, it seems as if Heaven has shut you out.
If you are persistent, you keep on asking. I mean, that’s in the Bible, right? Knock and keep on knocking, ask and keep on asking. In your mind you might think; “I will pester God enough that He will answer with what I want.” Instantly. Or at least in your idea of the right time. We start to recreate God into what we think He should be; our own cosmic Santa Claus, or magic genie in a bottle. Our personal wish giver, or personal shopper.
It seems to me that part of our problem is not whether God is listening and communicating with us, but our own impatience. We just want to rush and get things done. We hate being still and waiting.
The waiting and the silence are uncomfortable. Like a blind date, or first date that isn’t going well. The silence is awkward. We make up things to say. Trying to spark a conversation with the other person.
In our asking, knocking and seeking God’s answers we can start out asking the “If you will just…., then I promise to….. for you God” As the time drags on without a return reply, we even offer to up the ante with Him. “I promise God, I’ll go be a missionary, or give all my money away, just please, please give me this one thing.”
Waiting is difficult. I’ve been there. Praying for the healing of friends and family. Circumstances got worse, not better. I’ve doubted my own prayer “worthiness”. “Maybe God is upset with me” or even “Maybe I’m not praying right” To the dreaded comparison trap that wonders why others can hear from God, or get their requests answered and I don’t.
To be clear though, I have also been the one with the answered prayers for jobs, food, pregnancy, and a home. And healing. But being true to my own human nature, flawed as it is, I remember the silence more than the answers. Why is it we tend towards the negative anyway?
The reality of it all, is that God does speak to us, but we are too busy to observe the answers. Sometimes it is as simple as rainbow in the sky, a sign on a business, a rock in the shape of a heart, or a kind word from a friend. Or a scripture that jumped off the page of the Bible. Giving us a confirmation that God is still concerned with what concerns us.
Four years ago, the encouraging words from a college professor propelled (and challenged) me to begin a blog. A blog that was intended to help others through the difficulties and challenges of life as a Christian. Life keeps moving forward and we must work through it all. Having faith in Jesus does not shield us from pain, sorrow, stress, anxiety, difficulty, or grief. And it is not a guaranty of happiness and joy 24/7. It gives us hope that we are not alone. And that this life with all of its difficulty is only temporary. We have an eternity that will make this life and all its problems a distant memory someday.There is something more we were created for. Someone more we were created for. To love and be loved by. Forever.
I have heard many of your stories of how the blog has helped you and encouraged you. I am encouraged by the stories. God always knows the right topic for me to write. I hope my own struggles will encourage you to keep moving forward. We are in this all together. “And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds” as the author of Hebrews reminds us. We encourage each other as we grow and go through difficulties that we can share with others. I am definitely a work in progress and I too struggle to wait to hear from God. But my struggles can encourage you that you are not alone.
But just like I hope the blog encourages you, I too get my encouragement from others blogs and podcasts. And God reminds me to keep writing to encourage you in your faith. Keep going on and do not give up. God is listening. He cares. He knows just what you need to hear from Him and He waits until we are paying attention enough to hear. Be still. Even for a moment and listen and watch. And read His word. Let Him speak to you in His own words. God Bless You – Nancy