Regular readers of this Blog will recall that just over a week ago I was reflecting on the presence of a beautiful Goldfinch in my garden. as a result of that blog someone very kindly bought me a bird feeder and some Nyger seeds to go in it, which Goldfinches and other small birds are very fond of. The idea being, of course, to attract more little friends into the garden.
We have yet to see a bird on the feeder, never mind in the garden, since I put the feeder up. And yes, I did put the feed in the feeder. Apart from one Goldfinch stopping on the fence on the other side of the garden and then flying off, there has been a distinct lack of birdies on the feeder. needless to say this is causing me a little consternation and a lot of frustration. It also smack of ingratitude on behalf of the birds. I mean, if you put my favourite food out where I could see it…
It’s hard when you do something to bless someone and they don’t connect with it, isn’t it? it’s frustrating when you know it’s something they need but they don’t plug into it. How do you deal with that kind of disappointment? I guess you could give up and turn away; you could get a bit stroppy and blame “them” for not coming when you want them to; or maybe you could wait in hope – persevere with it and see what happens.
It’s like that with prayer, isn’t it? We do what we think God wants, and try to pray according to His will – we, “ask…seek…knock” (Luke 11v9) but we don’t get, or find, or have the door opened. Yet Jesus promises, “Everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” I think the key to this is in the timing. God works to a different time pattern than we do – often we expect quick answers, instant even; while at the same time He is content for us to wait because He is outside time – “do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3v8&9). The immediate context of these verses is the delay in the coming Day of Judgement but they can also shed light on why it seems that God takes a long time to answer our prayers – and if we are to be true to our faith, we will look at things through the lens of God’s timing, not ours, and learn to be patient, just as He is patient with us. Maybe we need to learn that lesson so we can see His answers.
Bring your prayers. Lay them out before the Lord. And wait patiently for Him to answer, as He has promised. he is faithful and true and He will not let us down.