I’ll start off saying the title is a bit ominous, but it’s not exact. It’s more of the time when God doesn’t show up until he does. The time that is days, weeks, months, or for some, even years.
We’ve all prayed and had answered prayers and unanswered prayers. You’re thankful when they’re answered and after enough time you find out why God say no and typically you’re thankful then.
This is for that time when the days stretch on. You begin to wonder. You begin to doubt. Did God say no and you didn’t get the memo? You keep talking to that corner of ceiling that you always talk to when you pray before bed, or maybe that’s just me and if feels like those words are hitting the ceiling and then sliding down to the floor into a pile that’s starting to smell funny.
What do we do with this? When giving up feels like an equal solution to continuing praying, do we give up? I can only talk about what I’ve experienced and I can say this: I’ve done both.
First I’ll talk about giving up. With giving up, it’s certainly less effort. I can say that. It doesn’t feel better or worse. It just feels stagnant. And eventually something will change. Now that part will mess with you. You’ll wonder would it have been fixed sooner if you hadn’t quit. You’ll wonder if the change would have been even better. You’ll also feel something else, and this is the bigger one for me: I felt left out. I know others were praying too, and I quit and as a result I don’t exactly get to enjoy the victory lap. So in the long run, it makes you feel worse.
That leaves not giving up and as you can imagine, it’s worth it. It’s hard. It’s frustrating, and there’ll probably be a time if it goes on long enough that you’ll struggle to even care, but as soon as you start seeing change, it’s huge. You get an emotional payoff because you know you changed history.
When it feels like God doesn’t show up, it just means he hasn’t shown up yet, and in the meantime, hold formation. Pray. Study. Worship. Fellowship. Eventually, either the problem will change or you will. Maybe all along, the change being held up was being held up by you. Only you’ll know.