When my husband was unemployed, one of the most difficult parts of our journey was the wait. We both knew God had our situation under control, but it was waiting for His plan to unfold that drove us emotionally crazy.
"God, why aren't you listening?"
It was a frequent question in my mind. There were days I thought my husband would never find a job. Even though he was applying and interviewing, with each let down and negative response from a perspective employer, his self-esteem dropped lower and lower.
So not only was I dealing with my worries and fears over our financial situation, but I also had to figure out a way to pull the love of my life out of his unemployment depression.
It was such a heavy and lonely burden.
I remember going to my weekly Bible study meeting with other moms and everyone would go around the room talking about their praises and prayer needs.
Honestly, I felt like my problem was so much more difficult than any problems the other moms had to face. (it wasn't - we all have a different tolerance for suffering) Even when they did find themselves in a spiritual battle of some sort, it seemed to be only a few weeks or even a few short months before God's answer arrived.
While I was always happy for them, and would never wish bad things on others, over time I began to get even more discouraged in feeling like God just wasn't there. He wasn't listening. I felt like I had all these beautiful women praying for me and my family, yet still our circumstances remained the same. The days and months and years kept passing with no change.
Can you relate?
We never mean to feel selfish in our despair. We would never wish bad things on others. We really do rejoice with our friends and family when God works in great big ways for their life. But sometimes, it's just so hard to hear how things are always working out for those around us and we seem to be left behind in our never-ending storm.
During that long period, the King of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. ~Exodus 2:23-25
Even while the Israelites were held captive for a very long time, God heard their prayers and was concerned for them. But because He knew the beginning and the end of their story, He knew not to answer their prayers until the time was right.
Having faith is not just trusting God, but it's also trusting His timing.
Sure, intellectually we all know this, right? But emotionally, how do we get over our selfish desires?
How do we get past our suffering?
How do we come to grips with the discomfort of the reality we're living each day?
It's not easy.
For me, the answer came with total surrender to God.
Once I gave up my interest and focus on what I didn't have, couldn't get, or was no longer privileged to enjoy that was a worldly desire, things started to change and transform inside of me.
I had to fully believe in my heart that God is all I need. There is nothing else in this world that will fill my heart the way God does. I can't do anything in this life without Him. He is the source of every breath I take and every gift in my life. He controls all of it.
Really living and accepting that truth actually deepened my relationship with Him. I felt pulled more into His word. I found myself craving time with Him each day. My prayers became more heartfelt, sincere, and powerful. I was starting to think more along the lines of how God wanted me to think. So automatically my prayers aligned with His will.
And so it will happen with you too.
Have you surrendered it all to God? If not, ask yourself what you have to lose in doing so.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
God's rescue or answer to prayer doesn't always come the moment we want it. In fact, I'm beginning to learn and understand that often times the most important part of His answer is planted in our hearts, is nourished and grows while we are on the journey.
God loves you with the love of a concerned parent. He wants only that which is best for you. Not the desires of your heart, but the desires of His heart.
Yes, dear friend. God is listening. He does hear your heart. He is concerned.
Everything in God's perfect timing.