Silence is Golden. Is it Really so? Important Elements of Prayer, part 5


I used to have a Siamese cat named Princess. Although this cat had many special qualities, what I found to be really special about her was her empathy.

If I arrived home in a good mood and didn't notice her greeting me, I could call her to my heart's content, and it would be like I didn't even own a cat. I could stand on my head and stick out my tongue, and she would never appear. If I opened a can of cat food however, that was a different story! She would miraculously materialize out of nowhere, purring loud enough for all of the neighbors to hear. Yes, cats can be quite independent in their own, loving ways!

If I came home depressed it was a totally different story! As I would sack down on my sofa to mull over my problems, it was guaranteed that she would appear out of nowhere to jump up on my lap, to rub her head against my hands, purring to her heart's content. She would do anything to cheer me up. Anything except refuse her canned cat food, that is! What was interesting was that sometimes I would become so involved in my problems or I would get so busy thinking up potential solutions, that I wouldn't even notice her on my lap. It was like I had totally blocked out her presence. Only when I stood up and heard the plop of a heavy body landing on the floor would I realize that my feline friend had been with me all of the time.

I wonder if this is why we are sometimes unaware of God's presence when we are in the midst of trials. Do we become so preoccupied with our circumstances that we fail to realize He is there? Are out thoughts so far away from God, that we can't even hear His voice?

Have you noticed that Job couldn't hear God in the midst of his trials either? "If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments." (Job 23:3-4 NIV) However, God was with him all of the time! The reason why it doesn't seem like God appears until the end of the book is because it is only then that Job began to focus on God instead of on his discouraging friends and depressing circumstances!

David had many dark periods to his life, yet he discovered that his Heavily Father was always there for him, even in his darkest hours: "If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." (Ps 139:8-12 NIV)

This is why God's Word encourages us to always wait for the Lord. In all reality it is God patiently waiting for us to finally perceive His voice!

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (Ps 27:13-14 NIV)

"We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name." (Ps 33:20-21 NIV)

"I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God." (Ps 38:15 NIV)

"I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him." (Isa 8:17 NIV)

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." (1 Tim 1:15-17 NIV)

"Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation." (2 Peter 3:15 NIV)

Do you ever feel alone, rejected and despised? Reach out to the Lord and wait for Him. Turn your thoughts away from your immediate situation and concentrate on the One whose love for you is unfailing. Try to perceive His voice. Ask for His help, for His perspective on the situation. You are guaranteed to find rest!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV)

P. S. If you have a cat who never greets you at the door, consider stocking up on canned gourmet dinners. Those will do wonders for changing his behavior!

Rob Chaffart

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