Why has God not heard your prayer?
Isaiah 43:19 is one of the many promises of God to us and our faith has shown us that God always keeps his promises. In Isaiah 43:19 he promises us, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” To the modern mind, this sounds farfetched if not ridiculous. Many unbelievers would scoff at God’s word and Catholic believers too may barely whimper a Hallelujah in response to this promise of God.
As a Christian and as a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, you must ask yourself if you believe the promise of Isaiah 43:19. As I said earlier, we know that God always keeps his promise and even though Isaiah 43:19 is a tall order, God has committed himself to make NEW things in our life, to MAKE A WAY IN THE WILDERNESS and to create a RIVER IN THE DESERT.
So, do you believe that God can create a way for you even when you see none? Are you prepared to walk that path trusting God’s guidance rather than your understanding? God understands our hesitancy to cling to his promise. In the very text of Isaiah 43:19, he acknowledges our hesitancy when he says, “Do you not perceive it?” So how do we proceed with his word which promises to deliver the seemingly impossible?
As we read God’s promise in Isaiah 43:19, the prophet reminds us that even in our moments of despair and confusion God is at work creating new paths and new opportunities where there seems to be none. Remember that God promised you ‘a way’. Yet, the focus is not on the way or the path but on the one who can make it possible for us. God is the ‘way-maker.’ He makes our way where there seems to be no way. We know that in the desert there is no way. The sand keeps shifting and there is no path to follow. It is for this reason that we should seek his voice in the desert not look for a path or way. He guides us, he instructs us. When you know you are lost, focus on the way-maker, not on the way! Your job is to fix your eye or Jesus, he promises to make that way for you.
When you focus on the way maker, on God he will begin to turn your obstacles into opportunities. Notice that the obstacles do not disappear. As Christians we want God to take away our obstacles and our problems. God does not take it away but he turns it around. He transforms our obstacles into opportunities. But He desires even more for us; it is He who turns our despair into hope and our trials into testimonies and not just any testimony but testimonies of triumph. But you need to TRUST that God has already gone ahead of you in the wilderness to make that path, to make crooked places straight and rough places smooth.
Yet even the greatest believer may have had that moment when the voice of the Lord in the wilderness is not heard, his path is not seen and the land seems arid and dry. His promise may seem distant and the timing seems delayed if not distant. I want you to consider that God’s timing is flawless. Let us ponder on this by looking at the narrative of Lazarus.
The narrative of Lazarus is not just a narrative of resuscitation but a profound lesson about God’s impeccable timing. (Lazarus, at this time in the narrative, was brought back to life, not resurrected and the narrative should rightly be called a narrative of resuscitation.) The Bible tells us that when Lazarus got sick, his sisters, Mary and Martha sent for Jesus. Instead of rushing to help them, Jesus intentionally delayed (and this is very evident in the Bible) his eventual arrival. In the miracle that followed, Jesus proved his words when in John 11:43. He shouted out. “Lazarus come forth” and indeed Lazarus came back to life (resuscitated and then of course would die eventually to be resurrected)
So why does God delay when our prayer ought to be ‘on demand.’ Did he not say ask and you shall receive? What I say to you now is not to console you but to convince you. We have grown to accept that our life is often a series of waiting rooms. We wait for jobs, for doctors, for relationships, for healing and whatnot. Often in these ‘waiting rooms’ we become anxious. We wonder if God has heard our prayers.
Remember that HIS timing is DIVINE. Even when we feel forgotten, we are not, because God knows exactly what he is doing. God’s timing is designed for his glory and not ours. He has said this when he worked miracles that these miracles were so that God may be glorified. His timing does not always align with our timing. It is not aligned with our distress, desires or impatience. Yet his timing is always perfect.
You may be in a hurry to have God hear your prayer but God may not be in a hurry because he sees the bigger picture. He knows the end from the beginning. If you are in a period of waiting right now, wondering why God seems slow to act, remember that God’s delays are not his denials and listen to this carefully…. just like with Lazarus, he might be setting the stage for a greater miracle in your life. Are you ready for it?