There’s nothing quite like being heard and understood, right? We love those conversations that refresh us and make us feel known. (I hate to be mushy, but this is just universal FACT). On the other hand, there are few things more frustrating than a conversation where we don’t feel heard. When we feel like a loved one isn’t hearing us, it’s such a quick road to hurt and offense and getting all our feelings in a knot.
When we struggle, sometimes we question whether or not God is listening. I’ve totally been there –– many times! We look up at the ceiling and wonder if our prayers are just bouncing right off of it. We might ask ourselves if God has forgotten us. Like a child crying in their crib at night, we wonder if the One who cares for us can hear us. Just because God is not working the way we think he should doesn’t mean that he is not at work.
So often, our prayers have already been answered, it’s just not in the way we expected. When God’s answer shows up in a way we did not plan, we can easily ignore it. It’s easier to face an unanswered prayer than an unexpected answer. An unanswered prayer still allows the possibility that what we have asked for is on the way. An unexpected answer often takes a form that we didn’t want.
Other times, we are simply in a season of waiting. God stands outside of time and is working your situation out for your good and his glory. If you are waiting to hear from God, you are not alone, and you are not forgotten. But sometimes, it feels that way.
David knew that feeling. Check out the Psalms! They are full of heartbroken outcries and questions, and David was a man after God’s own heart. In his life, David felt forgotten, but he also got to see God work a mighty deliverance in his life. God was working behind the scenes in David’s life, and he’s working behind the scenes in ours as well. The Old Testament stories show this, and the words of Jesus confirm it:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins?
And not one of them is forgotten before God.
But the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
We might feel that God is distant, but our feelings do not determine reality. If you are feeling far from your Heavenly Father today, know that you are seen, heard and known by a Savior who loves you.
Suffering and struggle entered the world when mankind chose sin in the Garden of Eden. Since that original sin, humanity has continued to sin, and that generates much of the suffering in our world today. When Jesus became human, he chose to take our sin on himself. He is intimately acquainted with both our sin and our suffering. That’s why the book of Hebrews calls him our Great High Priest. He can sympathize with our weaknesses.
We may not understand why God allows suffering in our lives. His ways are higher than ours, and his purposes are often a mystery to us. In this life, we are invited to trust him, to hope in him and to take him at his word.
At the end of all things, the books will be opened. We shall know as we are known, and see our Savior face to face. In that moment, we will not be disappointed. None of us will be able to say that God did a lousy job. We will be so in awe of his goodness, his grace and the wisdom of his ways that we will worship as we were always meant to worship. And our joy will be beyond anything we can imagine.
Hang in there, friends. God has not forgotten you.