The news headline read, “Answered prayers!” Does that well-intentioned declaration really testify to the completely awesome work of God? Or does it lead someone to question why his or her prayers “weren’t answered”?
We Christians say it all the time for good reason. We are ecstatic over divine love coming to our rescue. It’s fuel for our faith. It’s validation to our witness. It’s proof of God’s personal care in our lives.
But for a fellow Christian who is struggling in his or her wait (and even the unbelieving public watching us under a microscope), we can testify that the fuel, validation, and proof also come with a closed door or a command for patience. God does his best work behind the scenes of our understanding.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:12).
Let’s have the headlines read, “God always answers!” This is a statement of our sure hope that God hears every single prayer from his children. He answers every one with a yes; no; or, “I have something better.” It’s the yeses we crave, because we think we know what’s best, especially when in crisis mode. But if we truly trust that only God knows best, that he is passionately invested in our well-being, then we will rest in his “silence” with the support of our family and friends.