The days are long and the hours even longer. Confusion reigns as it always has and the nights are met without slumber. What is this work that God is doing and why must I wait for the answer. Time is limited and life is a fleeting thing, like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow…waiting is not an option.
Yet still the command is given: “wait upon the Lord”- “be still and know that I am God.”
Why? I ask. I know the work and how to do it. I respond with the words of Isaiah “Here am I send me.” words that are again met with silence. Silence is not deafening it is terrifying. Why…Why… has God gone silent? Surely there is a reason. A test perhaps? or maybe he is busy at work responding to the countless other requests being hurled toward the heavens in volleys that have no aim.
The amateur knows not how to pray…he only knows that he should. Prayer itself must be met with great preparation. We are going into the house of the Lord and we must guard our steps. Treading carefully and with all caution knowing that should we overstep our bounds, He may give us exactly the thing we have asked of Him…and this to our own demise. God waits with great anticipation for the man of God to come and when we have studied thoroughly the matter before us, we shall know of what to ask and how to ask of it. It will be the thing that in the end brings to our Lord the greatest glory. Often times however the thing we come to know of is not the thing we desire ourselves and so it is through prayer that God will give us the desires we lack…the desires of our heart.
I am no amateur when it comes to prayer. I have studied well the matter before me and still there is silence. Perhaps it is my sin that stays his words from coming forth. I examine myself, making every effort to know the cause of his silence that I may again hear that still small voice that once upon a time reverberated in my soul like a Lions roar.
Maybe I have grown so accustomed to his presence that I now have taken it for granted. Like an old married couple who barely acknowledge the existence of one another. A bride who in her golden years presumes her spouse will always be around. A husband who wakes to the terrifying silence of a marriage gone cold, or worse still…a bride lacking a groom.
The banquet is off…the celebration is over…we panic with the sure knowledge that something is amiss. In a moment of clarity God in his grace grants us access, if only for a moment, to the infinite knowledge he possesses about us. Unfolding before us and projected in ways that Hollywood could never reproduce is the life we have lived. We watch as we come into this world, born once and then again. We watch as we take our turn down the aisles of matrimony. Joining ourselves to another that we may become one flesh. Engrossed in our own stories and sitting on the edge of ours seats as if we didn’t already know the outcome. Suddenly we begin to notice the affection we once had for the bridegroom has all but disappeared. The joy that lit our eyes with wonder has turned instead to sadness as we watch the transaction unfold. The exchange is taking place and we scream from the depths of our soul the warnings we failed to heed. DONT DO IT, THE COST IS TOO HIGH! It is no use, the person you are watching is not real. No, it is only a vision of the past. A past that you cannot change. The vision ends and you find yourself hunched over in your seat…inconsolable.
Suddenly you begin to feel that gentle wind blow across your cheeks. You rise with anticipation waiting expectantly to hear that still small voice. As quickly as you rise you fall, in humble submission. You plead for his mercy as he motions you near, and in that still small voice he whispers…”my steadfast love endures forever.”
You are keenly aware of your trespass now…overtaken by guilt. Knowing you have committed the most scandalous act of adultery in human history. You left the bosom of your creator that you might be joined to the world. What have I done? The guilt is now too great to bear and again you fall to the ground inconsolable. This momentary affliction is interrupted by an explosion of light that lets loose an array of color and sound. You hear the savior say “thy strength indeed is small, child of weakness watch and pray, find in me thine all in all.”
The secret is out and silence has been answered. The cause was not that you knew not how to pray…the cause was that you knew not how to stay. Psalms 119