What do you do when no relief comes?
In my message this past Sunday I described how during bouts of diverticulosis or dehydration, buckled up in bed, bloated with cramps, cold sweats and constipation I would bury myself in the blankets, pray, and focus upon God my fortress. In my spirit I would clutch Him, hang on tight and pray for sleep.
“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” (Ps. 57:1).
Following my message, chatting with church folk in the foyer, someone with seasons of like suffering asked, “But what do you do when you pray and pray for relief but none comes?”
“You just hang on!” I answered.
Sometimes our walk with the Lord takes us through pretty rough terrain indeed. We feel like a wild Bronco rider, spectacles perhaps in some grand arena, observed by angels and demons, saints and sinners alike. They wonder: what will this one do? Will he yet hold tight to the end? Will his grasp of the rein of faith slip? Will he yield to the beast, allow it to defeat him? Or will he hold on tighter and tighter till veins and bones strain… hold on unto blood?
“Though He slay me, yet will In trust Him,” declared Job. (Job 13:15).
Trials do not come for us to test God… to see if He will deliverer us from even this. Trials come for God to test us… to improve us… to firm our faith and quicken our resolve. As Peter says, “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Pet. 1:7).
Or, as Philip Yancey, speaking of the book of Job, notes,
“God is not on trial in this book. Job is on trial. The point of the book is not suffering: Where is God when it hurts? The prologue dealt with that issue. The point is faith: Where is Job when it hurts? How is he responding? To understand the book of Job, I must begin there.” – Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God.
What do you do when God is silent, inactive, seems distant? You just hang on. You believe anyway. You become a purer gold.
Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.