Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?” Isaiah 40:27
God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his.” 2 Timothy 2:19
Pastor Jeff Doria asked a good question yesterday at St. John. In the introduction to his message, he asked, “Is 700 years a long time?” Most everyone agreed it was. Then he upped the ante: “How would you like to spend 700 years in the dentist chair? How about waiting for God to make good on his promises?”
That’s the issue Isaiah points to above. The people of Israel were accusing God of losing sight of them. They wondered why their rights were being ignored by God. They wanted God to come and be the Big Enforcer in the cause they deemed righteous. They wondered whether they mattered to God or not.
I can identify with Israel in this regard. Perhaps you can too. I don’t come out and say it quite as boldly and arrogantly, but sometimes I do wonder. Where is God? Does he really involve himself in the affairs of women and men? Does he really answer my prayers? Does he really have a plan in place. It’s been 2000 years, after all, since he sent his Son. What has he done lately?
These are the questions of unbelief. These are the accusations of one who is more full of hubris than he would ever care to admit, or say out loud. For this I am sorry, O God. Please forgive me. Help me to believe that you haven’t forgotten me. Grant me your peace and the confidence of your goodness, grace, love, mercy, and justice.
Paul reminds me: The Lord knows those who are his. He has not forgotten. He is at work. Look no further than the last time he answered your prayer of confession, and forgave your sins. Look no further than when he answered the prayers of his people and supplied the resources for the mission of his church. Look no further than the last time someone gave you a hug, prayed for you, sent you a kind note.
God is at work all the time. It’s not always in big and splashy ways. It’s not always according to our whim of timing. But if we repent of our unbelief and look through the eyes of faith we will see his good will being done all around us – and sometimes even in and through us.