What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up
I believe it is safe to say that there are times, or have been times in each of our lives, when we have called on the name of the Lord, and it seems that God didn't answer. Those times when the pressures of life just seem to weigh you down, and you don't know which way to turn. Those times when you feel that you're mimicking the life of Job, where before you can be done handling one problem, something else is shoveled onto your plate. When his troubles had become nearly over-bearing, and Job wanted to have a talk with the Lord. Job said, " Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as pure gold.
I believe for the majority of Christians, there's a feeling of confusion and dismay, when you've lived the best way that you know how, according to the Word of God, and still trouble appears to be your closest friend. And how painful is it, to know that you're in the will of God, serving and worshiping, continually in fervent prayer, and the heavens are as brass before you. How distressing is it in our lives, when we pray for deliverance or restoration from the difficult situation we're in, and the thing only gets worse?
Many of us know, from first hand experience, that it is a struggle, to press on in the face of adversities, especially, when you look around you, and you see the unbeliever's and sinners prospering and living in abundance. The sinners and unbelievers are still " hittin the clubs and poppin bottles" while you borrow from Peter to pay Paul. The sinners and unbelievers are still "iced-out and bling blinging" and you're out working a double just so you'll have enough for your rent or mortgage. They continue to ride through our neighborhoods with meticulously detailed cars on big shiny wheels, painted to perfection and completely re-upholstered interior, and your payments are two months past due on "Ole Nellie Bell," and you're praying that she'll hold out until you can do better.
What do you do when you've called on and leaned on your friends and family so much that they allow all your calls to now go to voice mail, and still, never return your call, because they know that you need something from them? And the more others turn away, the more you call on the Lord, yet, God doesn't show up.
There have been many cliches' used to encourage the down-trodden over the years. People always say things like, " A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins." My dad used to tell me, " When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot, and hang on." How do you continue to hang on, after you've dangled from that rope for so long? How do hang on, when your arms feels as if they weigh a thousand pounds, and there is not an ounce of strength left in your tired bony fingers, and what little grip you had, is slipping away?
You walk the floor at night, calling out to God through your tears, but God doesn't show up. You call in your prayer partners,and they pray for your situation, but God doesn't show up. You cry on your pillow long into the night, until you're totally wearied and worn out, and the sheer pain of it all finally rocks you to sleep, but God doesn't show up.
We even use scripture to help each other, we say to each other, " Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." We say, " And let us not be weary in doing well, for you shall reap, if you faint not." Yet, even after having put on the whole armor of God, God doesn't show up.
God Teaches Us To Wait
In the Book of Habakkuk, we are allowed to see the burden of a Prophet. Habakkuk asks of God, " O Lord, How long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save !
Habakkuk was seeing some of the very things that we are seeing in this hour. He was seeing the wicked prosper and live in abundance. He was seeing the courts being bought with a bribe, and the poor and oppressed bearing the brunt of injustice. He was seeing violence running rough-shod up and down the streets of his community, and the law looking the other way.
The Prophet was seeing all these things transpire, while he saw the righteous mistreated. He, his family, and his friends were all suffering. And after he couldn't take it anymore, this Prophet calls out to God, and asks, " How Long."
How long will my money be funny?
How long will my children walk in disobedience, following the ways of the world?
How long will the poor and oppressed be cast down, and you not notice or save?
I'm sure you've got your own How Long questions.
Yet after a while, when the Prophet got into the "proper position", God answered him.
Habakkuk, chapter 2, verses 2-4, " And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by Faith.
Many of us are going through hard and difficult times in our lives right now. But as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, " To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." But God didn't just say a season, God said there is a " Due Season, and Appointed Time."
Days get hard, and nights become so long, but wait on the Lord. God teaches us to wait.
God said in Isaiah, chapter 40, verses, 28-31, " Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Though your burdens be heavy, and the rain keeps on falling in your life, Wait On The Lord!