Have you ever been having a really heated conversation with someone, usually of the opposite sex, and you get to the part when you both are running out of nice things to say to each other. You get your best long paragraph together, check for spelling errors, read it one more time to make sure it hits all the important parts and press send. Only to be left on READ? Read means I saw it, I read it (maybe) and my phone gave you confirmation of this. Being left on read mean I saw it and I know you know I saw it but i’m not going to respond.
This is what happened with me and God recently…
We weren’t arguing exactly, but we weren’t seeing eye to eye on a subject. I know this because every time I inquired about the subject the answers I was getting were so matter of fact like. They all seemed so easy and I knew it wasn’t easy... so I decided to vent to God about it. I would talk to him about how hard things were, how frustrated I was, how I try to do the right thing and things don’t work out and how I prayed for his help and didn’t feel like he was coming through on his end. I would throw these little vents and rants in whenever things got tough, but one day I got my long paragraph prayer prepared. I made sure I thought about everything I wanted to say and I wrote it in my journal just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It was good, it was clear and it was polite with just enough sass for him to know that I was just done with this situation. And then I waited….
God normally responds to me in confirmation from sermons, songs, words from others or a book i’m reading. Lately he has been speaking right to me and I can just write what I hear him saying in my journal, but that didn’t happen. So I waited for confirmation that this was indeed hard and that my help was on the way. Nothing. I went to sleep waiting for an answer in my dreams. Nothing. I listened to extra sermons. Nothing. I KNOW God got the message because I know he gets them all. He is an omnipresent God who is everywhere at all times, so I knew he got it. Then I realized he left me on READ!
This was like a slap in the face for me. The God that says “Ask and you shall receive” ignored me. When this happens, just like when it happens in an argument, your first instinct it to say "ok fine, forget you”. The fear of rejection in you makes you think that he doesn’t care, he never loved you, he is just like everyone else and you wasted your time trying to communicate with him. The fleshy part of you just gives up. So this is what happened to me. I had all of these thoughts momentarily. Until I woke up one morning and went straight to Facebook, instead of praying and saying good morning to God like I should have. Nevertheless, I saw a video from a preacher I know and the first thing I heard her say was “In all things we must give thanks. It doesn’t matter what you are going through, you need to thank God for how far he’s brought you.” Talk about feeling convicted. I went right to my journal and started my entry by saying “God, today I want to thank you and say that if you don’t help me through another thing you have helped me enough.” I started to think about how God must feel to hear us complaining and nagging all day. I guess I would leave me on read too. Like in a relationship, if all your partner can do is complain about everything you have given them, why would you want to keep listening. If every time you respond they have an annoying negative comeback, what’s the point? Once I was able to get out of my funk and show some gratitude for the things in my life, God was able to communicate with me again. He was able to get through to me the fact that he had already given me the answer. That he was silent because he was tired of repeating himself. He let me know that if I could get past the first part, then he could give me the next step. God didn’t ignore me, I just wasn’t listening.
So I will share with you three things I learned from this experience. If you reach out to God with your problems and you don’t feel like he is responding to you, it could be you. It’s possible that:
He did respond but you aren’t listening. Check yourself to see if you can’t hear him because you just don’t agree with the solution he gave you.
You’re annoying! Just kidding, you may not be showing gratitude and God is giving you a second to remember how blessed you are.
He may need you to go through this as a part of a testimony he is building for you. He is still right there and he never ignores you. Sometimes his answer is to wait, even if you have to wait through a hard time.
So don’t give up on God. He’s not like your bad ex boyfriend. He’s more like the parent that you take for granted until you realize how much you need him. Be still, listen to him, trust him!