When Jesus Doesn’t Answer

We’ve all been in that place where we have felt like we were talking to the wall instead of Jesus.

Perhaps we felt like punching the wall, screaming at it, or saying really nasty things to it. We even questioned if Jesus really was just a wall and if that is all we have been praying to all these years.

“Why doesn’t the wall speak back?” we wonder. For a change of scenery, perhaps we may even decide to give that wall a nice coat of paint. We move outside, grab a cup of coffee, and watch the sunrise. “Jesus, are you out there? Why don’t you answer me?”

One of the hardest parts of our Christian walk is faith and trust in Jesus in the hard times. Those times where we want to hear the audible voice of God. We wish we could talk to Jesus like we talk to our best friend. Jesus is supposed to be our best friend. Why doesn’t he talk back? Is he really God at all? If he is, why is he so silent? Where is he?

The longing of the human heart for connection with the Almighty is an innate need. We need Jesus. We need to be loved by him. We need him in our lives. We need that presence of something Other to say, “Yes, you have a purpose in creation. Yes, I care about you. Yes, I love you.” We need that spiritual sense of knowing, belonging, and rightness that is supernatural and soul-quenching. We need the sense of the Divine in our lives.

Yet, there are times when the presence of Jesus is missing. We no longer know him, feel him, or hear him like we used to. In those moments, it is easy to question our faith and spirituality. Is Jesus real?

It often happens in those moments when we need him most. The times of trouble and suffering where we are at our wits’ end. Where our marriages are ending, or we have lost a friend, spouse, house, or job. The questions remain: “Where is Jesus when you need him? Why did he let this happen?”

Sometimes the pain of our suffering drowns out the voice of the Lord. If all we can feel and sense is pain, we cannot always feel the loving support of the Holy Spirit wrapped around us like a hug. If we are yelling in our grief at the wall, we can yell so loudly that we miss hearing the small whisper of the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we rage and call the wall names, we can miss the still presence of peace that is in a room.

Jesus is still there in our pain and suffering, but often we just don’t know it. We don’t recognize the sound of his voice answering back, his sheltering presence, or the love he has for us. We are lost in our own suffering, a closed-in world. We lose a sense of divine perspective, even though the Divine is present all around us.

If you are having trouble hearing from Jesus today, be still. Still the raging of your heart. Focus on what you sense. See how you can find the Divine in your everyday presence, right where you are. Jesus is there, and he is answering. You just have to listen.

Reality Changing Observations:

1. Take a moment to calm your mind and still your thoughts. What do you sense?

2. Ask Jesus to reveal himself to you in the next 24 hours. Notice afterwards: how did Jesus show up?

3. How can you be the answer to someone’s prayers today by being the real embodiment of love, care, support, and a listening presence?

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