Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 138:3:
“In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.”
“Matthew has read your post at 11:38 PM.”
#totesawk. This new-fangled idea of showing when someone reads your text message or Facebook message. What if I wanted to read it, but not reply? What if I’m ignoring a stalker, but still want to see what he says? But if I even click on it for a second, it’ll flash up on their screen as read. And they’ll know—oh, the horror! They’ll know that I received the message and expect a reply. And when I don’t give one…they’ll know I’m ignoring them! #firstworldproblems
Such is the day we live in. A day when we expect immediate reply for every message we send. Instant messaging, at our fingertips. Yet sometimes, when we Millennials are dealing with old—er, mature people, we get frustrated. They just don’t reply quite as fast. They are used to snail mail and pigeons, not email and Pinterest. In their day, they had to draw the ink out of the squid they captured with bear hands, then craft a quill from a wheat stalk, followed by carving some paper out of a tree they sawed down. Only then could they begin to write their letter by the light of a torch. On top of that, their message would then be carried by a man riding a dinosaur and would take three centuries to arrive at its destination. So it’s not surprising that they don’t understand instant communication over continents and oceans. Yet we still get so frustrated when our professors, parents, or grandparents don’t reply to our texts, emails, or social media posts.
In fact, not replying immediately is one of the most heinous of insults in our day and age.
Good thing God is in the business of replying! He’s faster than a UPS truck racing a FedEx truck. He can answer quicker than the Amazon drone sailing through the iCloud. He beats Google at every race. Instant retweet.
He’s not One Who sees your message and then just sits there. He acts, and He gives an answer. In our Psalm, it says “in the day I cried out, You answered me.” That very day! He’s not one who forgets to reply…for thirty years! He gives an answer immediately.
What!? It surely doesn’t seem like that to you! You asked for funds for college for weeks, but today’s the day it’s due and there’s no money falling from the sky. You ask for the salvation of a family member, but you’ve been doing that for ten years! You begged for your Dad to be cured of his cancer, but he’s dead now. Dead. Sounds like God sends more snail mail than Gmail.
Nope. He replies immediately. It’s there for you to read. You just might not be recognizing it as an answer. You might not be reading it. You may not like it.
“Yes. No. Wait.” The traditional three answers of God. I would add a fourth: “Read the Bible!” Often, the answer for our request was given before we even made it—two thousand years ago when the Bible was completed!
But what about the physical answer to your problem? Well, if it doesn’t happen as you requested when you finish the prayer, then the answer is likely a “No” or “Not now.” It’s not that God isn’t listening. He isn’t asleep at the keys. His phone is not on silent. He hears the prayers of His children and gives an answer immediately. You may just not be recognizing the answer because you don’t like it. But have patience. He may wait to answer with a “yes” until a day when it’ll better fit with His good plan for your life. Or He may be teaching you that your request is not part of His plan at all. And it must be given over to Him in humble surrender and trust.
“Amen” is followed by “You’ve Got Mail!” when it comes to God. Be content with His answer on the day you make it, even if it’s not your plan. And no matter what the answer is, hit reply and say, “Thank You, Sovereign God.”
-Matthew W., SC