We have just come through the time of the school year for exams. I do not know about you, but exams were not my favorite memories from school days. As I look back, I have to admit those negative pictures most often came from not applying myself completely. But at that time, I thought a lot differently.
I can remember sitting there with few answers flowing out of my pen on to the test paper and at times, glaring at the instructor. I imagined he or she was silently gloating over the fact they had produced an exam that completely stymied my efforts to pass. I did not hear a word from the instructor. No words of encouragement or guidance in the test were forthcoming. Just silence.
These were but earthly teachers. The greatest of teachers was Jesus. You call me Teacher and Lord. You are right, because I am. John 13:13 (EHV) Almost daily, I find myself sitting in front of him facing seemingly impossible tests. And there are times when Jesus is silent. I do not hear answers, I do not see results, and I want to shout “I need an answer, Jesus. Don’t you care?”
That’s hard to admit. I know everything he did for me by dying for my sins. I remember all his answers to prayers of the past. I have heard the “Yes, No, Wait” to which many refer when trying to explain God’s answers to prayers.
I understand the passage Not only this, but we also rejoice confidently in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patient endurance, and patient endurance produces tested character, and tested character produces hope. And hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5 EHV.
Despite all this, I hear nothing. I don’t see any resolution. I find myself becoming fertile soil for doubt that God really cares. I have unintentionally put myself right where the devil put Eve with the query, “Did God really say?”
That is the most challenging part of my Christian walk. I want to believe that my faith is like an Ironman suit that wards off the challenges of life. In reality faith in Jesus makes me a target for the devil and his demons. They would crow in triumph if I would begin to doubt that my God was not listening to me.
But I am still left with what I see as silence from Jesus. Oh, at those times if I could only remember he knows everything I am going through:
Jesus knew temptation: He was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan.(Mark 1:13).
Jesus knew poverty: Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head (Matthew 8:20).
Jesus knew frustration: He made a whip of cords and drove everyone out of the temple courts …“Get these things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a place of business!” (John 2:15-16).
Jesus knew weariness: Then Jesus, being tired from the journey, sat down by the well. (John 4:6).
Jesus knew disappointment: Jerusalem, Jerusalem … How often I have wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34).
Jesus knew sorrow: My soul is very sorrowful, even to the point of death. (Matthew 26:38).
Jesus knew loneliness: About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
As important as it is that I know my Savior experienced what I do in my life, how much greater it is he showed love as only he could No one has greater love than this: that someone lays down his life for his friends. (John 15:13), I know Jesus is there hearing my prayers and has his solution already in place. The when and how of that answer is part of the solution. And even though it is so difficult, I need to put effort into the rest of my life.
So, after all I wrote here do I feel better? I am not sure. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by my emotions and I forget that faith is not about what I feel. Rather Faith is being sure about what we hope for, being convinced about things we do not see. Hebrews 1:1. What I hope for and what I am sure of is in God’s hands–there is no better place.
Thanks for letting me share my struggles with you. Hope you come back sometime. I will wait you.
I like this song a lot because it does not talk about me or the way I feel. Rather, it is about what God does. The proof is there.