Sometimes I wonder if God is really out there? Especially when I have a tough day. You know, one of those days where it feels like everything is going wrong.
It’s easy to sit here behind my computer screen and tell you that I have it all together. That life is always great in our house. But in reality, it’s not.
Quite a few weeks ago I wrote a blog submission called “We cry too.” (If you haven’t read it, it can easily be found in the archives of this site)
Writing that submission, I discussed the common misconception that Clergy, Pastors and Ministers never experience any doubt, or battle with depression or anxiety. I shared that even though we followed a call to ministry, we are still human, and struggle just like you.
This afternoon I was struggling with something. So I cried out to God in frustration and asked “Why don’t I ever hear you??”
I felt like most times, my prayers go unanswered. Or, that my issues were too tiny for God, therefore he simply was to busy.
Or perhaps he was just ignoring me??
Yep, that must be it. God was ignoring me.
Then tonight as I was studying, I came across something that was quite startling.
In the book of Revelation Chapter 8, the apostle John describes a scene, where there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then, an angel with a golden incense burner came and stood at the altar. He was given a great amount of incense so he could offer up the prayers of the saints (God’s people) to the Lord. Then it says that the prayers ascended up to God from where the angel had poured them out. Following that, the angel hurdled fire onto the earth from the altar, and there was a terrible earthquake.
This got me thinking. If the prayers of God’s people interrupted the silence in heaven, and God almighty responded to them, then maybe my prayers aren’t so petty after all?
Maybe it’s not God who is not answering, but me who is not listening?? Scripture says that the Lord speaks in a “small voice,” perhaps I am just not hearing him.
What if my tantrums and feeling sorry for myself is getting in the way?
Maybe God is answering, and I’m being too prideful to hear him?
I mean, come on Jeff, Look at all the blessings that you and your family received in 2017. Many of the things you specifically asked for were delivered right to you. But still You don’t hear him??
Or perhaps I was choosing to ignore him…
I think that lots of times in life, we focus on the bad times and forget to be thankful for the blessings.
If I look back at 2017, I can see so many blessings, specific prayers that God answered. Yet in most situations, I did not listen for his voice. I did not cling to his side. I did not focus on what his word says.
I guess it’s like any relationship. If you don’t acknowledge that someone is telling you something, You won’t ever hear their response.
Lord, teach me to seek your face. To listen for your voice. To sense your spirit.
Don’t let me miss any more important messages.
What do you think?
Till next week,