Is God Listening?
Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? — Habakkuk 1:2
Have you ever felt that way? Like you have been crying out to God in the midst of your pain and He is silent? I have. Maybe even worse than that is when you feel like things are getting better…but then they don’t. And you’re left wondering…God, are you even listening to me?
I don’t know about you, but I hate the idea (and the feeling) of taking one step forward and two steps back. I always thought moving forward was just that—forward, linear. The truth is, it’s not. Moving through trials means going forward, then backwards, some times sideways, and then forward again. In continuing my reading of It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way, Lysa’s point about the process really struck a chord with me:
“If God thought we could handle the promise today, He’d lift us up today. But if we aren’t standing on that firm rock, singing a glorious song, it’s because He loves us too much to lift us up there right now. This process isn’t a cruel way to keep you from the promise; it’s the exact preparation you’ll need to handle the promise.”
In other words: we still have learning and growing to do in the process.
The bad news is that it can be really difficult to see what growing we need to do yet, especially from God’s perspective. The good news is we can trust that God will show us those areas in our lives and will be with us throughout that process. We can trust that God is going to work something incredible through that process. How? Because in Habakkuk 1:5, He says, “For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.” See, if God told us right now—or when we wanted to know—what He was doing, we wouldn’t believe Him, and we wouldn't seek Him. We wouldn’t be prepared.
But if we wait on Him and have an honest relationship with Him and trust His process, we will have all the preparation we need.
I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected. — Habakkuk 2:1
When we have a relationship with the Lord, we can be assured He is listening and He is working in our lives. But we have to listen too. We have to be open to hear His answer, like Habakkuk 2:1 points out. We can spill our secrets and question out to God, but then we have to wait.
What does waiting look like? Does it mean we say our little prayer and go back to doing whatever it is we wee doing before? No. Does it mean we just sit on our knees and wait for His audible voice? Yes…and no—figuratively. Our souls should be on their knees.
Believe me—I used to think waiting meant I said a prayer, but saw no relief, so God wasn’t listening. I used to think it meant not moving forward. But it doesn’t. It means moving forward in spite of the circumstances. It means actively waiting—living out your faith in the waiting. We have to stand on that figurative rampart and look for the ways He speaks to us.
I know sometimes it seems like God isn’t there, but I promise you that He is. He is with us in the middle of every circumstance. He is working in ways we can’t see yet. He is listening. Are you?