Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
The Maori people of New Zealand had a well-kept secret: The Waitomo Caves. However, there comes a time that every secret is revealed, and it so happened that in 1887, Chief Tane Tinorau felt compelled to share this secret with Fred Mace, a British surveyor
Using a raft consisting of flax stems, the two of them floated into the cave via the Waitomo River. Candles were their only form of light, and although many consider candle lighting to be exotic, it was only enough to give a brief reflection of everything there was to see. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they discerned numerous glow-worms around them, and they were totally in awe. They had arrived in a surreal world surrounded by insect-made light, lights that served to brighten the entire cave. It was as if they had stepped into another world where beauty reigned supreme.
They couldn't help but return many times to admire these creatures. Eventually all other access points to the caves were discovered, along with beautiful limestone formations. Had the caves been kept a secret, none of these would have ever been exposed!
We all have secrets as well. The worst ones are those we keep hidden away in our hearts when God appears to not be answering our prayers. Rather than turning to God to find out why our prayers weren't answered, we accuse Him of not taking care of us. We accuse Him of not hearing us. We accuse Him of not seeing our needs as important in His eyes. And so we go on, day in and day out, frustrated, discouraged, and at times, even angry at God, with our "secret" firmly clutched in our hearts.
Let's put this into perspective. What do we generally do when we don't understand someone or something? Imagine taking a class of some sort, discovering, for example, the binary codes that control your computer, an interesting subject to the many of us! Sooner or later we will come face to face with the fact that we simply cannot understand some aspects of the course! And we come away thoroughly confused. What do we do in those times? Do we continue to take the class and pretend we have a good handle of the subject? Wouldn't it be better to ask the teacher, the expert, for help?
And what if our paycheck is smaller than ever? Will we remain quiet and keep our frustrations inside? Of course not! We will ask our employer about it! And if our child comes back home with a bad grade, we don't ignore it, we ask questions! And if our spouse comes back home grim-faced after a doctor's visit, we don't just assume he or she will get over it, we ask how the visit went!
It is no different with God. When God is silent, it is His invitation for us to go directly to Him and ask Him to show us the situation from His perspective! Isn't this what David did? "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?" (Ps 22:1, NIV2) And weren't these Jesus' words as well, uttered from the top of a cruel Roman cross (See Matthew 27:46)?
God urges us to come to Him, especially when He is silent. His silence is His invitation for us to approach Him, to get even closer to Him: "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jer 33:3, NIV2)
When we approach God about His silence, He will answer us. When He is assured that we are ready to hear things from His perspective, He will show us how He sees our situations. When we are ready to follow God's will, He will show us what that will is, and we will fall on our knees in thanksgiving that He cares so much for us. The end result will be that the entire experience will draw us closer to God, the ultimate goal of any of His followers! When God becomes the prime subject of our requests, it's a win-win situation! We realize then and there that we are in His hands, the best place to be! And isn't this far better than the healing we prayed for? Isn't this better that the new job we have been pleading for?
The Waitomo caves are awesome, but they are truly only a shadow compared to the splendor of our Heavenly Father!
Dear Lord, thank You that we can come into Your presence when we are in need and that You are always willing to hear our plea. Thank You for holding us up and for giving us opportunities to draw us closer to You than ever before. In Jesus' name. Amen.