On my knees for the hundredth time, I felt abandoned. Did I need more faith? Did God hear me? Was my attitude wrong? Did I have unconfessed sin in my life? Trapped in a cycle of self‑examination and self- recrimination, I spiraled downward until I nearly crash‑landed.
Then a nearly forgotten incident filtered into my thoughts. I remembered when, many years earlier, my eight-year-old son and I walked across the mall parking lot. At the top of his little lungs, Nathan screamed, "Daddy, Daddy, can you hold this box?" The elderly couple several yards ahead of us turned to see what all the commotion was about. Probably half the customers in the mall stopped to stare in our direction.
Red-faced with embarrassment, I growled in my best can't‑you‑see‑ I'm‑standing‑right‑next‑to‑you voice, "What are you shouting for?"
Undaunted by – and more likely oblivious to – my chagrin, Nathan's eyes sparkled with childlike composure. "I wanted to make sure you could hear me," he said.
"Can a woman forget her nursing child," The Lord chides through Isaiah. "Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands" (Isaiah 49:15‑16, NASB). And again Scripture reminds, "The Lord's mercies indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22,23).
Yes, of course He hears. Yes, of course He knows. As a compassionate and loving Father, He listens. Before our words even cross our lips, He knows our very thoughts (Psalm 139:4).
Because of my relationship with God through my faith in His Son, I don't need to shout as if God is on vacation in some distant part of the Universe. I don't need to pray with an anxious heart, as if He is too caught up with the affairs of our world to give heed to my needs. Delays do not necessarily mean denials.
He hears me. He hears each of His children. He hears our deepest cry whispered in the furthest recesses of our hearts.
And so I can wait in confident hope for His response – whenever it comes, and whatever His answer may be:
Or, “Not now.”