For His Glory
I’ve been reading Yancey’s book: Prayer: Does it make a difference? along with a few other ladies from church. I highly recommend it as a way to openly examine your prayer life. It has definitely asked more questions than answered, but it has also given me great comfort that everyone struggles with prayer. Prayer can be so rewarding and so hard. There’s truly not many things better than talking to God. In no other relationship in life can I be completely uncensored and myself. God knows my thoughts before I have them. There’s nothing too difficult, harsh or boring for God. What freedom! On the other hand, there are few things more challenging than praying to God and feeling like all you hear is silence. It can be deafening.
I’ve recently come through one of these "dry spells." I felt like I was "doing" everything I could to make myself available to God, but he was absent. I would pray and beg God to help me. Crying out to him to respond and show himself. And then…nothing. Was I blind? Was my sin in the way? Certainly possible, but that’s not how it felt. I sought the counsel of godly friends, and they had great wisdom – keep praying and listening. I wonder if this is how Mary and Martha felt as Lazarus was dying. They called out to God and to Jesus himself. Jesus responded by saying “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (John 11:4). Then he waited two more days before he went to them, knowing full well that Lazarus was already dead. Jesus told his disciples “Lazarus is dead, 15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” (John 11:14-15).
Why did Jesus wait? Is it because he lacked compassion for Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Certainly not, as he wept with (and for) them. He waited because there was a greater purpose to the miracle than just raising Lazarus from the dead. There is a purpose to the silence, and it’s always for God’s glory (see John 11:4). God’s glory is always the purpose for God’s work. I may never see the purpose. I may never see the miracle. It will hurt. But, I can trust that God will never violate his glory. His glory will be full. And truthfully, that’s all that should matter to me as well.