Have you ever called and left a message or emailed a loved and trusted friend about an important matter only to wait and wait to hear a reply and not get one? How does it feel?
If this is someone you love and trust, do you simply wait, do you send another correspondence, do you call again, do you stalk their answering machine or voice mail?
Do you assume they are thinking about your dilemma and trying to come up with good advice, an appropriate response, or even an answer?
Or do you assume they just don't want to be bothered by you, think your problem is silly, or that your issue doesn't really merit their time?
I have had a struggle that has lasted for years, one that I never expected, and one that has seemed insurmountable. I have been stalking God about it for a long time, and prayed and prayed.
I started with prayers of "please fix this, " to "help me understand," to "help me change me." And finally, "Hey are you even there? Really, are you listening, because I've called on this one about 5,000 times and have you checked your machine lately? It must be broken!"
Funny how my talks with God on this one have become. Because I really want it fixed for crying out loud and fixed now already! To get to the point that I'm asking if He's even there listening was a super low point for me. And this time, I let Him know that that's how I was feeling, ALONE.
You know what He did? He heard me! And this is what happened. Shortly after this prayer I had two conversations with dear and trusted friends that I admire greatly. Conversations that I didn't initiate about this problem. Yet these two dear friends described issues and heartaches very similar to mine! I didn't really have to share too much about my issue, because I knew they too were in pain, and suddenly knowing I wasn't alone helped. More than that, knowing that He was listening and wanted me to know I was heard and that I'm not alone filled my empty, aching heart.
In the many times I have earnestly sought Him in prayer, I may not have gotten the answers I was seeking. For example, "fix this." He hasn't "fixed it," but that doesn't seem to be the plan right now to fix it. It seems like there is much, much more that needs to happen, not only for me, but for the others involved. "Help me understand," while I don't understand why this is going on, or what He has in store for us in all this, I do understand some things much better now. "Help me change me," that is definitely happening. I am changing. And realizing how much I need to change. I often joke that I stopped praying for patience years ago, because I really didn't want him to make me learn patience. He is helping me have experiences that are teaching it to me anyway. Yes, God has a sense of humor.
I am so grateful for these two friends who don't even know they were part of a Heavenly answer that day. But I know them well enough to know that they recognize promptings and by acting on them, they were an answer to prayer to me. They were the return phone call/email/text that I very much was begging for. They filled me with God's love. I'm also grateful that He gave me the gift to see that as His return call. It makes me wonder how many times I may have overlooked His answers because I was looking for the "fix."
I'm not going to stop calling Him on this. I still need answers and guidance. But hopefully I will be more aware of the answers He does send. Hopefully, I will also be wise enough to hear his Spirit whisper to me when He is trying to answer someone else's desperate plea.