I never would’ve written this chapter of my life – the chapter where life is hard and I stay exhausted. The chapter where I feel like I fail more often than not. The chapter where chaos reigns and it takes every ounce of my strength to hold everything together. Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever wanted to grab the pen from God and rewrite your story?
Have you been praying for something for a long time, and you still don’t see the answer? Sometimes, I have felt like I’ve prayed continually for wisdom, claiming his promise in James 1, but then I still don’t know what to do. What do we do when God seems silent even after our heartfelt, tear-filled prayers?
First of all, we turn to His word. The 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the time Christ was born are often called “the silent years”. The prophets wrote about the coming of a Messiah who would save God’s people. However, the Jews kept waiting and waiting and waiting. After a few generations, it must’ve been hard to know if a Messiah was really coming. God seemed silent. However, he had a plan all along. He would send Christ at precisely the right time. The Messiah they waited for did far more than they ever could have imagined. Instead of just freeing them from earthly oppression, he saved them from their sins. He saved their souls.
There are other examples of God’s people waiting. David was anointed king as a teenager, but he didn’t actually become king until he was about 30 years old. During this time, he was often fighting for his life (against the current king Saul). Joseph eventually became second in command to the Pharaoh of Egypt, but about 13 years passed between the time he was sold into slavery until this occurred. Part of this time, he was a slave in Potiphar’s household. Part of this time, he spent in prison for something he did not do.
It had to have seemed like God was silent during these times, but he wasn’t. He clearly had a plan for their lives, and by faith, we trust that He has a plan for our lives too. Simply put, when God seems silent, He’s not. He is simply waiting for the appointed time because his timeline is perfect. There’s a song on the radio currently, and part of the lyrics state, “Even when I don’t see it, you’re working. Even when I can’t feel it, you’re working. You never stop, you never stop working.” God is always working, whether we feel like it or not. This is where faith comes in. We believe in what we cannot see.
Psalm 84:5a and 7a say, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you…they go from strength to strength.” This is a beautiful picture. As God’s children, we will have valleys, but we don’t dwell there. We are just passing through the low spots in life on our way to the next strength.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Again, we will have difficult periods in life, but God strengthens us to face these hard times, even when we’re exhausted. Even when we don’t feel it.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” When we are going through tough times, our faith is tested. Do we really believe that his grace is sufficient for us? Do we really trust that He will empower us to do what He has called us to do? During these times, we must trust and keep reminding ourselves of these promises. Like the father in Mark 9:24, we must pray and ask God to help our unbelief. If you come to him earnestly, seeking Him, He won’t turn you away. He knows when we’re going through affliction, and He wants to comfort us. He wants to strengthen us, as we depend on Him.
“God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:19