(CSN) Is it just me or has this winter seemed overly long and the spring rather slow in getting going? Maybe it’s my weather app that keeps showing those pretty little snowflakes when I’d rather see some nice blue raindrops. I’ve been watching the swell of snow on our garage roof as it oh-so- slowly recedes. Yes, I’m longing for spring – real spring – the kind where you take off your light jacket when walking your dog and revel in the smell of the earth as it comes back to life and the sound of water dripping off every roof. It just doesn’t seem to be happening fast enough. But I know it will come.
Waiting is hard, especially when things just don’t seem to be happening as fast as we’d like them to. Perhaps you’ve been praying for a friend or family member for years, with no sign of change, or you’re unemployed and just can’t seem to catch a break even though many say they’re praying. Maybe it seems like God is asleep, just like the fields and valleys that still lie dormant under the snow.
Our small congregation here in Blackfalds has been waiting for over a year to see a family caught in a desperate situation released from it. They are far away and communication is sporadic but every time we are able to be in touch they never ask for money, they just ask us to pray. We spoke to them recently and the mom of three said in a quiet but earnest voice, “please, if something happens to us, please, I beg you, look after my children.” They have been holding on for so long, and have been diligent in prayer and trusting in God, but she admitted lately it has seemed that they are all alone.
My longing for spring pales in comparison to our longing to see them safe. Why has God not acted on their behalf? Why are they still held in the grip of a brutal regime, unable to move about freely, unable to work, unable to give their children a normal life?
The scriptures tell us to always be “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12). I confess that scripture makes me sigh, yet I know it is the only way forward, both for us here in Canada and for that desperate family.
Rejoice in hope – for hope is the one thing that will keep us all afloat.
Be patient in tribulation – for God is working in us, making us more and more like Him, no matter how difficult the situation.
Continue steadfastly in prayer – for there are battles being fought in the heavenly realms and our prayers matter.
Like spring, the answers will come. They may not come as quickly as we would like, but God is not asleep. Neither is He indifferent. He cares deeply for each and every one of us and “my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).