Once the Lord has given us great faith, He has been known
to test it with long delays. He has allowed His servants’ voices
to echo in their ears, as if their prayers were rebounding
from a contemptuous sky. Believers have knocked at the heavenly
gate, but it has remained immovable, as though its hinges
had rusted. And like Jeremiah, they have cried, “You have covered
yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through” (Lam. 3:44).
True saints of God have endured lengthy times of patient
waiting with no reply, not because their prayers were prayed
without intensity, nor because God did not accept their pleas.
They were required to wait because it pleased Him who is sovereign
and who gives “according to his good purpose” (Phil.
2:13). And if it pleases Him to cause our patience to be exercised,
should He not do as He desires with His own?
No prayer is ever lost, or any prayer ever breathed in vain.
There is no such thing as prayer unanswered or unnoticed by
God, and some things we see as refusals or denials are simply
delays. Horatius Bonar
Christ sometimes delays His help so He may test our faith
and energize our prayers. Our boat may be tossed by the waves
while He continues to sleep, but He will awake before it sinks.
He sleeps but He never oversleeps, for He is never too late.
Be still, sad soul! lift up no passionate cry,
But spread the desert of your being bare
To the full searching of the All-seeing eye;
Wait! and through dark misgiving, deep despair,
God will come down in pity, and fill the dry
Dead place with light, and life, and springlike air.
John Campbell Shairp