He has not forgotten YOU
The moment my eyes fell on the advert, it felt right for me. I was sure I’d be called for an interview. For that perfect job I applied for. And so I waited with bated breath. Was I chosen? No. The days passed. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. With each successive day, my hopes receded – like a larder of nourishing food being emptied, one day at a time, 'til nothing was left except a few crumbs of dry mouldy bread.
How could something that sounded so right not be THE one? Why did God seem to raise my hopes only to dash them down again? My fibromyalgia flared up – a reminder that it was a good thing I didn’t have the job. I probably wouldn't cope with all it demanded with a body that was erratic and didn’t do what I asked of it.
It was a week of discouragement all round. Through the years, God’s given me fulfilling connections with women; it's something I cherish. But much of what I’d hoped for in a number of friends' lives had yet to come to pass. There are those I've prayed for and shared life with – some for decades, some for years, others for much less. In the recent past, attempts at encouraging those who were struggling in their walk with God had sadly brought zero results.
Yes, it was a week of wondering why my ministry in God’s kingdom seemed fruitless. On Friday evening, a lady I’d often see around the Oval walked past me. We usually walk in opposite directions and would pass each another twice every lap. As I smiled and waved at her, I told God that I’d love to exchange names with her. I asked Him. “Please would you make her initiate the contact, Lord? That way I’d know that you are hearing my prayers. And especially that you haven’t forgotten me.’
Five minutes later, we passed each other again. She stopped. She spoke. ‘We haven’t introduced ourselves have we? My name is …” I looked at her, my eyes opened wide. “I’m Anusha” I said with a grin. (Thank you God) We chatted and discovered we had sons of the same age. She’d been in Australia (from India) twice as long as I've been here. It felt so good to connect because I’d often hoped I’d get to know her. Mostly, it was deeply comforting that God had answered my prayer. A reminder that He had not forgotten me. Yes, job and ministry might not be all I hoped for. But He was still with me. Still hearing my prayers. Still working His best purposes out in my life.
I recall today how 35 years ago, God said ‘no’ to one of my fervent prayers. I didn’t know why He closed that door and I didn’t seek any answers. But one day 33 years on, right out of the blue – He gave me a glimpse of what my life might have been had He given me my then-heart’s-desires. I look back now, deeply thankful; a bee delighting in the honey of an exquisite flower, the sweet sustenance of His care. I’d shed many sad tears then. Now I realise that ‘No’ was the best answer for me. The fact is, God frequently shows us He remembers us through His ‘nos’ rather than through his ‘yeses’; like the mum who keeps a sharp knife away from her two year old or the dad who disciplines his erring teenager, to help him mature.
Do you wonder if God has heard you? Be assured that God is on your case as He is on mine. Sometimes all that seems visible are ‘No’ answers or ‘Not yets’ and even Satan’s whispers of ‘God doesn’t care.’ But our Father’s silences are simply minuscule pregnant pauses which will give birth to the answer you’ve waited for at the perfect time. Be assured, He is there beside you, working out His ways in your life as you yield to Him. You only have to hope in Him. And keep going. One foot in front of the other. One hand in His. Your heart raised in restful trust towards our Daddy God.
And one gladsome day, you’ll find that during that season when you’d assumed He’d forgotten you – He’d actually been actively working on your case in ways that are so big, they would blow your mind. So wait on. And trust on my friend. Our Father knows what He’s about. You’re as safe as a newborn babe in his mother’s arms, when in God's tender loving care.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
“Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land.”