Ready to Respond

Over the years, some lyrics I heard in high school by the band Out of the Grey have floated to my mind time and again. They’re from the song “He is Not Silent,” which deals with the question of whether God hears and responds to the prayers of His children. The line that always comes back to me is this:

 

He is not silent / He is not whispering / We are not quiet / We are not listening

 

As we consider bringing long-term disappointment about singleness or anything else to God, we may wonder whether He will respond to us. Hannah’s encounter with God helps answer that question. When she poured her deepest emotions and desires to Him—tears and anguish and all—how did He respond?

 

There’s no record that He spoke to her directly. But when she finally left the temple, “her face was no longer sad” (1 Sam 1:18). Somehow, Hannah was changed. How did she know God was listening?

 

I think she sensed His presence. Even in Old Testament times before the coming of the Holy Spirit, King David wrote that God is near to the brokenhearted. God doesn’t distance Himself from us when we are in pain, when we have expressed our hearts to Him. He comes close.

 

God gave Hannah another sign that He heard her. He spoke through His representative, the priest, who blessed her: “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.”

 

The principle here is not that God is going to give us what we desire every time we express our disappointment to Him. What God does offer is the peace of His presence. He promises not only to listen, but to respond.

 

Paul states it explicitly: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7, NAS).

 

Taking our cares to God, as Hannah did, requires faith, believing that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

 

 

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