WHEN GOD SEEMS SILENT    

    Have you known someone who prayed for a loved one or a friend who was deathly ill only to have the doctor tell you that the dear one has departed this life? Or perhaps you have experienced such sorrow yourself.  Did your friends or even you in a moment of somber distress at this loss fall to your knees shaking your fists at God, declaring "You did not hear me? You did not come in my time of need!"

    It seems many have experienced such sorrow, yet, we have known of others whom it seems God has responded to their every word and a person whom the doctors had given up on has a miraculous turn around and are made whole.

    The lowly Syrophoenician woman in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 lived through in several moments that which many of us spend a lifetime in going through. There are things we desire most earnestly, but our prayers seem to dissolve into empty space. There is that job promotion that you have all the qualifications for, but you are ignored. There is that once in a lift time real estate opportunity, but it slips right through your hands. There is that dream job you have applied for and you have all the qualifications and degrees, but someone with lesser qualities is hired. The list is endless.

    In the case of the woman of Canaan, as in other passages of scripture, we learn that there is always a loving purpose behind the mysterious (and perhaps perplexing) seeming silences of God. A close reading of Matthew's account will show that Jesus remained silent a while in order to test the genuiness of her faith — yes, in deed, and He tested it very severely. That is why, when He finally breaks His silence - which no doubt seemed an eternity to the Syrophoenician - He exclaims: "O woman, great is thy faith! Be it unto thee as thou wilt!"

    We can rest assured that the Savior heard the woman's plea the very first time she uttered it, but He had a gracious purpose in delaying His reply. Similarly, we can be sure that He hears our prayers before we even speak them.  But in His wisdom He always has a purpose either for answering us in seeming silence for a while or for granting our request according to our schedule. It is not for us to fathom or explain His purpose. It is rather for us to surrender and submit to it — in trusting faith.

    As children of God, through Christ, we know that His purpose in our lives is a good and gracious one. We know this, because He has told us so. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee."

    Since God has told us that, need we worry about His silences? No. Rather let us use His silences as did the woman of Canaan. Let us use them to throw ourselves ever more completely upon His mercy. His loving Savior-heart can hear our faintest prayer — and since we know He loves us, we need have no fear.

 

       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.


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Updated January 13, 2010
 
© 2009-2015 by Donald R. "Don" Brown, of Farmington, MO - U.S.A

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Each devotional was written by Parson Don Brown, and inspired under God's Direction
 

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