My mailbox is full in December. I receive letters and emails from friends and family, spreading good cheer And I also hear from people who have read something I’ve written and just want to reach out and know someone is listening.
This morning was no exception. There were letters and emails with expressions of God’s goodness and provision in 2011. And then there was a long, poignant note from someone on the other side of the world who explained that this year God had been silent on the two issues about which she needs to make major decisions soon–issues for which she’s been sincerely seeking, without success, for direction from God. For her, it is not a season of glad tidings and great joy.
She wrote, in part, “I sometimes find myself asking whether He (God) still answers prayers or whether He has made a sober decision to ignore our prayers. … It is a very painful and excruciating time. … He said all things work together for our good, but I am struggling to see what good this is working for us. Having a hard time seeing past the circumstance right now.”
It’s hard to feel merry when Heaven is quiet.
I’ve been there…more than once. I even wrote a magazine article about it, in an effort to make sense of those times when God demonstrates with annoying clarity that He cannot be managed or packaged into a formula or neatly explained by a clever saying on the back of a t-shirt.
Sometimes, in the absence of answers, we are forced to lean on what His Word says about His unchanging character–including His compassion when we are hurting and His promise never to abandon us in our darkest hours.
The Christmas story itself is further proof of God With Us–the sending of His only Son to live among us and ultimately die an ignominious death so He could get all his children back. It’s God’s story in a nutshell.
If you are one of the people this Christmas with unanswered prayers, this may be a season of hanging on until the answers come. Nothing more. That’s okay. Watch this video and know you’re in good company. But don’t give up. Wise men still seek Him.