Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3: 22 – 24
Have you ever felt as if God wasn’t listening to your prayers, or even worse, you felt as if He didn’t care what you were going through? It may seem as if you have been praying for this one thing for so long, and you begin to lose hope and even question your trust in Him.
We’ve all probably had this experience at some point in our lives when it seemed as if God didn’t hear us, or He didn’t give us the peace and comfort we so desperately needed. Thankfully, these times are rare, but still it’s difficult for us to understand why God doesn’t answer our prayers when we are trusting in Him (at least not in the way we want them answered).
We begin to feel anguish and confusion as to why He isn’t concerned about our pain, sadness, despair, or fear, even after we have so faithfully and diligently prayed. He seems so far away from us, and we feel forgotten, rejected, and alone. His silence makes us feel even more anxious and isolated.
Psalm 77: 8 – 9 expresses the pain of His absence so well: “Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has His promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?”
It is such a mystery why our loving God answers some prayers and not others, or why He would leave us feeling so abandoned and alone for a time. We know that His timing is not ours and that we often have to wait patiently for Him to respond, and as difficult as it is, we know He may not always answer as we wish. But as we wait, our hearts ache for His comfort and love. We feel such desperation, but if we could only remember that in the midst of our despair, our Lord is with us. We may not feel His presence, but because of His great love for us, He will always be faithful to us.
We need to remember that we can’t be consumed by fear or pain, but we must trust in His abiding love and compassion. He cares. He knows our despair and He feels our pain. He knows what it is to be us and to endure suffering. He may not show His healing, mercy, or compassion in the way we want, but we have His promise that He is with us and that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Yet, we wonder why God would not let us feel His presence when He knows we need Him most? There are many biblical explanations as to why He would choose to be silent during a time in our lives and fail to answer our prayers as we ask Him to heal, to save, to deliver us from pain, fear, despair, or loneliness, but none of them are easy for us to accept.
He may be molding or shaping us into who He wants us to be as we go through these experiences. He may be “refining” us for what He has planned for us in the future. He may desire for us to seek Him more, to have a deeper connection of the heart, to acknowledge our sin, to humble ourselves, or He may be testing us to see if we will depend on Him when all else fails.
We can’t know the thoughts or mind of God, but we can rest assured that He has a purpose and that He will always give us what we need to carry us through these times. He wants what is best for us, and sometimes we just need to be patient and wait on Him. We each have His promise that He “watches over my spirit.”
He is the Giver and Sustainer of Life. As we trust in Him and rest in His grace, we will find the peace we long for. He is with us. “His compassion is new every morning.”
What a beautiful promise of His love and grace. With Him, we can always have hope, for He promises, “Weeping may remain for the night, but joy will come in the morning.”
Dear God, thank you for your loving care, even if we don’t see it or understand the way in which you give it. Thank you for your “portion” that you give us each and every day. May we never doubt your presence with us or your compassion for us. Give us patience, strength, and peace when dealing with difficult situations and help us to always place our trust in you. We give you all honor, praise, and glory for the blessings of life and for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen