“My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
‘Where is your God?’”
Psalm 42:3 (NIV)
A few years ago I conducted the funeral of a beautiful and gracious saint of God who was in her 80’s. She dearly loved her wonderful family and they responded in kind. Two of her grandchildren sang and played the guitar with excellence. I sought to comfort the grandchildren by saying that God’s people in heaven know things that happen here among us.
I referred them to Revelation 6:9-11 and to Luke 9:28-36 where we see that people who have gone to be with Jesus have a keen interest in the events of this life and have at least some knowledge of things here. So I suggested that it was possible their beloved grandmother knew of their part in her memorial service and was very happy about it.
What is sad for the family is that they will no longer hear her voice or be able to hold her close again in this life. That is what made their hearts ache. They were uncomfortable with the silence. A couple of lines I have quoted in these devotionals before go as follows:
But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!
Our verse today speaks of a tormented soul that was mocked because of his suffering and the apparent lack of concern for him by his God. The writer’s enemies scoffed the suffering man and told him that he was God forsaken.
Many very gentle and faithful children of God do find themselves in a similar situation to the Psalmist. They pray for relief from their pain and live to suffer another day. They wonder where their God is. Has He really left them? Are they God forsaken as their tormentors suggest? Many questions flood their minds but no answers come.
This form of silence is not only uncomfortable it is downright frightening. What do we do when we cannot find God speaking in answer to our prayers? Well, we start with the most basic prayer of all. That prayer is recorded in Luke and goes as follows: Luke 18:13 (NIV)
“But the tax collector stood at a distance.
He would not even look up to heaven,
but beat his breast and said,
‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’”
God has promised to draw near the humble of heart (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). Hold the Lord to that promise. Plead the promise and call on the Lord to be faithful to you. Take a promise like Psalm 23:1,
“The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”
Tell the Lord you are indeed in want. Tell Him you are in great need of His grace. Plead with Him as a child pleads with his father. You will surely be heard and blessed for the persistent prayer.