If I could only shake the feeling that God isn’t hearing me.
I know everyone has times when he or she feels like normal praying isn’t working. There is a request on the divine table, and God hasn’t responded.
In spite of praying prayers of specificity, the plate before the supplicant remains empty. And the plate has been empty for a long time.
The scriptures say that no person who puts a hand on the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God, so I don’t look back. I look up. I strain to see God, looking up, and I don’t see her …but I know she’s there. And how about this: even though I don’t see her, I am not about to look BACK or take my hand off the plow.
But really, this “waiting- for -the -answer” time has been longer than long. It has been protracted.
I say to my friends that I am on punishment. God is chastising me for something. When I look back over my life, I can see reason why God might want to do that …
But this “punishment” has gone on a little long, even by what I have come to know as God’s standards. “Kairos,” or God’s time, is not supposed to be a time of suspended anticipation, is it?
I don’t ask God for much. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I should have been asking God for more all along. But I didn’t and I don’t, and maybe that’s why this particular prayer is taking so long to be heard. Maybe God doesn’t know my voice, or maybe God thinks I don’t really need what I am asking for.
How wrong you are, God. How wrong you are.
I am in spiritual labor, but the baby will not move down into the birth canal. That’s the best way to describe this. I am having contractions. I know the answer is there and it wants to come … but it will not. And, like physical labor, spiritual labor hurts.
But the process must continue; a birth will happen. Seeds of God’s love and promises have been planted in my very soul, and we know that in the parable of the sower, it is made clear that seeds planted will indeed yield a harvest.
So, I wait and push and wait and sit in silence and let God push and pull as the head of this birthing process… I moan sometimes, but actually, now I am so tired that hardly a sound can come from me. It’s been too long.
The good thing about this is that I, as a pastor, can share this experience with others. Whenever someone looks at me with confusion, wondering where God is, I will be able to say, “Well, sometimes, God … ” and can add the bits and pieces of my own labor without divulging the details.
But I have to say that I am not impressed with this wait. So, today I will be in prayer in a deeper way… so that if there is anything I missed in cleaning myself out I can fix, so that those spaces can be filled with God.
I will do that because those spaces so need to be filled with God’s answer, presence and peace.
That is … a personal candid observation.