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Jason Silver

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Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture



Friday, May 17th, 2019
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Stuck - completely stuck in the mud. It didn't matter if I went in forward or reverse, my car wouldn't move.

I was going to be late, and there was nothing to be done. I called out in desperation to my God: give ear to my words, O Lord!

Unfortunately, it didn't matter how passionately I cried out, He would not give my wheels any more traction. I put it all on the line, I used every ounce of faith, I recalled scripture about moving mountains and mustard seeds, but to no avail.

We've all been in a similar situation; probably a lot more serious than being late for work. It doesn't matter how desperately we cry out to God, sometimes He just doesn't seem to be listening. In order to save some semblance of faith, we tell ourselves that our prayers must be outside of God's will, or that he has different timing. It's either that, or question his existence, right?

Eventually I found a neighbour who used a tractor to tow me back onto the road, but that event has remained with me for 30 years. Since God didn't come through in the way I thought he needed to, how would I re-evaluate prayer and faith? There must be something to learn in this, right? What part of my assumptions were wrong?

I don't think it helps to say that God had some other purpose in mind, or that I wasn't praying in his will, or that I didn't have enough faith, or the timing was wrong. I think we have to be honest about our disappointment with God, and decide whether or not our faith is dependent on how he answers our prayers.

I've come to look at it from a parent's point of view. Children are constantly asking for things, they are continually pushing against the limits, crying for this or that, and my job as a parent is to provide boundaries, and to be a gatekeeper for their fleshly desires. Even though they think they need everything they ask for; even though they're pushing against the rules they encounter, they actually thrive when there's a hard boundary in place.

It's not good for children when they can control their guardians. As an outsider looking at pushover parents, I'm tempted to lose respect for the one who is supposed to be the adult. In the same way, we would not benefit from, nor respect a God who we can control.

So when I'm stuck in the metaphorical mud, and God doesn't seem to be listening, I remind myself of this. Sometimes he answers, and it's strong and clear. Other times, maybe even most times, there doesn't seem to be an answer.

Can you accept that?