Have you ever had one of those days or times in life when you have been praying and praying about something, but it seems as though God is not listening or at least not answering? Then out of no-where something will happen, someone will say something to you, or maybe you read a passage in the Bible and you feel as though you have heard from God. I refer to those as God sightings. Those are special times in which God chooses to reveal Himself to you. In those moments you know that the God of the universe is there, He does loves you, and you are reminded that He is working everything out in His time. The key to this of course is the last two words of the previous line, “His time.” That is a phrase that is really easy to say, but many times very hard to remember. There was a time here recently that God reminded me of it. I had been and continue to pray about a specific issue, and frankly was feeling frustrated because I felt so unclear about a direction that God would have me go in and how He would be glorified. Then it happened, a God sighting. I was reading a devotion and these lines jumped out, “Today’s reading is a great reminder that Jesus has a bigger plan and it’s on His timetable. Whether He answers our prayer the way we want or not, we can trust God will do what is best.” It was at that moment that God reminded me, “I am here with you, I have heard you, now just wait on the answer.”
In the story of the raising of Lazarus we see a peculiar thing happen. Jesus waited four days before He went to where Lazarus was. By this time Lazarus has been dead for four days and seemingly all hope was lost. It is in this context that Jesus tells His disciples, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” The disciples and Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, wanted Jesus to heal their brother. However, God had bigger plans and even though no one seemed to understand why Jesus did what He did, they were going to have to trust Him. There is also a story in the Old Testament about the prophet Elijah. Elijah had predicted that no rain would fall until he prayed for it. The great thing is that is exactly what happened, the bad news is it didn’t rain which means streams and brooks of water were drying up. During a drought God sent Elijah to an unlikely source of blessing, a widow (1 Kings 17). Many pastors call this time in Elijah’s life a “dry brook season” because the water had dried up where he was. However, God was using this season in life to prepare Elijah for what He had for him to do next. The thing about God not answering our prayers or our own “dry brook” seasons is this; those are times that God is preparing us to move in us and work through us the most. These times are never useless as long as we allow God to strengthen our faith and deepen our trust in Him. I heard a great preacher by the name of Bryan Bloye say this one time, “dry brook times in our life can be the catharsis for change.” Change doesn’t come easy or readily for many of us. But it is in those difficult times of life that God generally changes us the most.
Maybe you are praying about something and you feel as though God hasn’t heard you or that He isn’t answering. I believe most if not all Christians understand that. I want to encourage us all to use those times in life to be faithful in praying seeking God’s will, but also trust that God will reveal Himself and the right answer in His time. Maybe you are in a “dry brook” season right now, allow God to use this time to change you, mold you, and shape you in the the man or woman He desires you to be. Remember, these times are never useless, God is up to something, just trust Him!
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him