When You Feel Like God Isn’t Listening
Author: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
Have you ever felt God has forgotten you? I know I feel that way a lot. During this worldwide crisis our nation is facing, I know many people feel that way right now.
You pray – and pray – and pray – yet you don’t see God moving?
Has God simply stop caring about you? Has He stopped caring about humanity?
No matter what we see happening in the world today, can you safely say God is in control? Do you really believe He is near? We did not cause what’s happening. We were simply living our lives, and one day – just like that – it all changed! Some of us lost jobs. Some of us are losing homes. Some of us simply have no food.
What did we do to deserve this?
Genesis 16:2 “The LORD has kept me from having children, Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Hagar was a bondservant to Sarai and Abram. From reading the Bible, there is nothing to indicate that Hagar asked to be put in the situation of having a son for Abram and Sarai. She was simply the victim at the hands of impatience by Sarai. The LORD had promised Abram and Sarai a son, (Genesis 15), but that promise was taking longer than they hoped or wanted, therefore, they took matters into their own hands – which caused Hagar to suffer.
Today, we are all suffering in some capacity with the crisis our nation is going through. Some people have lost loved ones. Some people are having a hard time teaching their children at home. Some children are in abusive homes all day because school was their only outlet. Some businesses, the livelihoods of people, have been forced to close.
Genesis 16:6 “Sarai mistreated Hagar, so Hagar fled from her.”
After Sarai connived a planned for her husband Abram to have a child with Hagar, she grew resentful toward Hagar – thus mistreated Hagar so badly, Hagar fled from Sarai.
While Hagar sat alone in the desert, the angel of the LORD appeared to her.
Do you ever feel like you’re alone in a desert?
I know I feel that way a lot. I try so hard to follow God. I pray, fast, study God’s Word, teach my children about God, teach others about God – yet I feel like there is no shortage of roadblocks and pitfalls I face – all the time!
So there was Hagar feeling the same way – suddenly the angel of the LORD comes near. He asks her; “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” Hagar says she is running away from her mistress who mistreated her. The angel of the LORD blesses her greatly and all of her problems disappeared right there! Right?
The angel of the LORD instructs her to go back to her mistress and to submit to her. Before Hagar would do as instructed, the angel of the LORD gave her a promise. She would have son and her descendants would be numerous. Even in the midst of her pain – the LORD appeared to her and gave her a promise.
Taking Matters in our Own Hand
Sarai took matters into her own hands. Abram foolishly did as his wife said. Hagar ran instead of facing her problems.
There are so many variables we can consider when reading the story of Hagar. When life doesn’t go our way (which is the case for many, many people right now), we can make very foolish mistakes which can have serious consequences on other people.
- We might say something horrible to someone we love.
- We might do something horrible to someone we love.
- We might do something we know is wrong because we feel we have no other choice.
All of this can lead to long-term harm.
When we face troubles we might try to run and hide – and not deal with the issues at hand.
- This too can lead to long-term harm.
It seems unfair that when living as followers of Jesus Christ; when we do our best to live godly lives, we should suffer at the hands of others through no fault of our own? Undoubtedly, Jesus Christ would have the same argument. Why should He suffer for the sins of this world?
Before Jesus, what about King David, who was pursued by King Saul? What about Uriah whom King David killed when David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba? What about Naomi in the book of Ruth who lost her sons and her husband through no fault of her own? We can go on and on.
The Christian life is not a promise of a wonderful comfy cozy life.
We know this.
We hear this all the time.
Yet, when we are directly in the middle of crisis, it hurts.
Why God is this happening?
We don’t know why life has to be so painful at times, but what we do know is God is the same yesterday, today – and forever. We know through our praises to Him, the hurt is less. Through His wisdom He will lead us down the right path.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy ONE is understanding.”
Is God Teaching You Something Today?
Are you simply hoping to get through this crisis or is God teaching you something?
What this crisis is teaching me is planning is good, but when our plans are uprooted, we have no choice but to turn to God. Instead of asking God to fix what has gone wrong so we can go back to living our normal lives, we can ask God to give us wisdom. We can ask God to lead us down the path we NOW must go on.
Unless we are convinced God is not for us, then He will lead us to a new direction – if we ask!
What is God teaching you through this crisis?
Where is He leading you through this crisis?
What new direction will your life take today?
Hagar felt betrayed. She was alone. She felt hopeless – yet the angel of the LORD appared to her and gave her a promise. Hagar named the well of which she was standing, Beer Lahai Roi, the One who sees me. In other words, Hagar saw the One who sees her, and the One who sees, saw her as well. She was not alone. God was with her.
God is with you too.
God is with me.
These days are hard.
At times – they feel hopeless!
But I trust that God is near to those who call upon His name.
I trust God is near me!
Do you trust He is near you too?
We may not know why this is happening – but we do know God is near.
Psalm “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS