Kneeling on my kitchen floor surrounded by dropped Cheerios from yesterday’s breakfast seemed like the place I always landed. My knees pressed to the cold tile floor, hands gripping my Bible, tears dripping from my trembling chin asking God why for the four-hundredth time. I had heard that His line was never busy and that He cared for me, but in this moment it seemed like He had forgotten me.
Trying to recall the verses about God never leaving, I wanted to remember that He hears me when I call, but no answers were coming. I must not be doing it right. Maybe I should lay prostrate, not eat for days, or perhaps lock myself in my closet and wait for Him to show up in physical form. I was waiting for my burning bush moment, but I couldn’t even seem to get a still small voice.
I closed my Bible and went on with my day, frustrated. God had forgotten me.
Waiting for an answer to prayer can sometimes seem like a wasted effort and a long-lost dream. God’s timing rarely plays out the way we imagine it should in our minds. We begin to think, if God would just answer our request then we could take a step in the right direction rather than wallowing in this paralyzed frustration. We want to do God’s will, but we get stuck in a place of unanswered questions and burdens beyond our control.
When we are in seasons of waiting to hear a response from God, we often wonder if He heard our request in the first place. But His Word assures us that He does hear. In these silent seasons, we have the choice to believe and rely on God or to give way to the doubt that the enemy so clearly sets before us.
Darkness is only a distraction. It does not mean God has departed.
Three doctors dressed in white entered the room one after the other and closed the door behind them. I can still hear the click as the knob latched into place. They each took a seat around the hospital bed and began to explain that they have not been able to pinpoint what exactly is destroying my husband’s body.
Then one spoke up, “If the test results continue in this direction, we will have to assume that there is a malignancy.”
I was no dummy, I knew what malignancy meant and I began to prepare myself for the worst. Maybe I could go back to work, get a teaching job, and live with my parents until I could get on my feet. I began to think of a funeral and I buried Rob every day in my mind. I made myself crazy thinking of all of the possibilities. We did not even have a diagnosis and yet in my mind, I attended my husband’s funeral day after day.
Isn’t it horrible how we always think the worst even when the facts aren’t in place for the outcome we imagine?
When we go through seasons of struggle and answers don’t come, it is so easy to shake our fists at God as if we deserve an answer, a remedy, a solution. I had my moments when I looked up to the ceiling and told God, “I can’t understand. We’ve done everything you’ve asked us to do.”
We all know that feeling — like life is dark and there’s no way out. I don’t know what it is in your life, but I do know there are things that are tough and things that we cannot understand. Seasons of strife, confusion, heartache, heartbreak — we all have them. Sometimes people will say it’s what we do in those dark times that determines the outcome, but I think sometimes it’s what we don’t do that truly determines the end result.
What I mean is this: If I am constantly pushing through, constantly striving more, constantly trying harder to make it, survive, scheme, and get on with the next thing in my life, I am completely missing what God is doing amidst the dark times in my life.
What if we stopped to consider the purpose of the darkness?
(Excerpt adapted from Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World by Micah Maddox, ©2017 by Abingdon Press.)
Micah Maddox is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, writer, and blogger. She can now add “author” to her résumé with the release of Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World. Micah is passionate about helping women discover purpose, peace, and calm in our chaotic world. As a pastor’s wife and mother of three, she contributes her time to MOPs and her local church, including serving as a women’s ministry leader. The Maddox family makes their home in Fredericksburg, VA. Learn more at www.micahmaddox.com. She is also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.