Are You Listening, God?

listenSunday morn I was teaching  the kids about Jacob and Esau.

I’d done my prep, (praying and amazing Jacob cut-outs with stick-on hairy chests).  So I started to tell the story:

‘Last week’ says I, ‘something very exciting happened to Jacob.  He was lonely and he prayed.  God listened to him and answered his prayers by giving him a wife called Rebekah’.

(gulp of industrial strength coffee)

‘Jacob and Rebekah loved each other very much.  And they wanted to share their love with a family.  But for a long time, they couldn’t have any babies.  How do you think they felt?’

(chorus) ‘very sad’

‘That’s right kids – they were very sad.

(Some nights Rebekah cried herself to sleep.  Some days Jacob didn’t know how to help her or make it better.  Some days they were okay; and some days they felt like they might break under the weight of it.)

‘But you know what?  They kept trusting God.  And they kept praying.

I consult the lesson plan.

‘They asked God to help them – and  He heard their prayers and answered them.  He gave them, not just one baby – but two! Twins! How do you think Rebekah and Jacob felt?’

‘Happy?’

‘That’s right – they were very very happy indeed’.

Later, I looked back at the lesson plan.

Jacob prayed for a wife.  God listened and answered his prayer by giving him Rebekah.

Jacob and Rebekah prayed for children.  God listened and answered their prayers by giving them twins.

I have friends who pray like Jacob for a partner, but are still single.

We’ve been praying for children and we’re still childless.

Does this mean that God hasn’t heard those prayers?

Does this mean that God hasn’t answered those prayers?

No.

We haven’t got children.  But God counts every word we pour before Him.

And He’s answering our prayers – not in the way we expect, by giving us things.  In the way we don’t expect, by giving us Himself.

the fellowship of a Spirit who never leaves us

the peace of a Saviour who bears all our pain

the comfort of a Father who directs every step.

Everything else can be shaken. But these things are sure.

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