In the spiritual life the experience of waiting for the answer from the Lord is really painful and very often it questions the depth of one’s faith in God. The question ‘though I have been praying for long years with tears and penance, why God is not answering my prayers’ might have been raised from our hearts at least once in everyone’s life.
Such an experience of waiting ultimately reminds us to trust in the providence of God. If anything and everything happen as and when I wish we may forget the caring hands of God. Then we may think that everything is happening because of my strength and I am able to do anything. But even after trying with all our strength and abilities when we realize that our attempts were in vain, we realize that I am nothing and whatever I have is absolutely because of the providence of God.
When we go through the sacred scripture, we realize that many of the persons who played a decisive role in the salvation history were asked to wait. Though God promised Abraham that
“Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be” (Gen 15: 5), to fulfill this promise he had to wait a lot. Prophet Samuel was an answer to the prayers of Hanna, who “was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly” for a child (1 Samuel 1: 10). Mother Mary was an answer to the prayers of Joachim and Anne, who were not having children even in their old age. The birth of John the Baptist also is not something different.
If God delays to answer my prayers, if I am asked to wait, it is not because God has forsaken me,
but God is preparing me to receive a priceless gift like the gift that Abraham or Joachim and Anne received. Realizing this fact, let us trust fully in the providence of God and wait patiently for the time that God intervenes in our lives and answers our prayers.
Fr Prince Chakkalayil CST