My friend, Maxine, ran into a rough spot when she got sober about nine years ago. Her personality is bubbly and infectious; she never had a problem landing a job, just couldn’t keep it. With her prior arrests, background checks always caught up with her. It made her employment history sketchy at best. Maxine’s dad worked in maintenance and janitorial service most of his life, and she had picked up a few skills here and there. She decided she’d try her hand at cleaning homes. When she told her friends about the idea, everyone was on board, and she was off to a good start.
Maxine was introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ in rehab, and her relationship with God continued to grow. She began to meet new people, and her housecleaning jobs increased. She decided to specialize in cleaning floors, rugs, and carpets, and make a go of a small business. Things really began to take-off from there. Her friends continued to be very supportive and gave her lots of encouragement and referrals. Maxine gained a reputation for good, reliable service at a good price. It wasn’t until six years later, when she started to take on larger clients, that her business hit a snag.
She enjoyed the initial building stage, but things took on a much different tone as the business grew, and her faith took a hit as well. As the money stream tightened, Maxine became anxious. She felt as if the Lord was letting her down. Many of us have been in this place, where our backs are against the wall and we don’t know quite what to do. The things that used to work for us are no longer working. We cry out to the Lord, but it seems that He isn’t hearing us.
In the Book of Job in the Old Testament, Job said as much. He said to the Lord in Job 30:20 (NLT), “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you, but you don’t even look.” These moments, when it seems that God isn’t responding, His mercy is speaking loud and clear, and we have the distinct privilege to press upon our spiritual hearing to receive what His mercy is saying. Heavenly Father is incredibly patient with us. 1John 5:14 tells us that He always hears our prayers. He’s interested in every detail of our lives, but we must also remember that God’s number one priority is our spiritual growth in Christ.
Heavenly Father wants us to succeed in life, but sometimes a subtle shift slips in. It’s one that causes us to lean less on the Lord Jesus and lean more on the flesh. We begin to walk more by sight than by faith. We forget that the goal is that our view of who God is and what He is willing to do for us grows, as our reliance on self-effort and ability diminishes. Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) gives us some extremely good counsel when this happens. It tells us, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Everything happens for a reason, and although you may not understand it, the lesson learned will inevitably be that God didn’t bring you this far to leave you. He’s working in you to will and do of His good pleasure through the Holy Spirit. He’s helping you to grow into the person that He desires you to be.
Romans 8:28(NKJV) tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Maxine had a dry spell, but things got better. She learned many spiritual lessons during that season, like how to wait on God before making big decisions. Her eyes were also opened to being more thankful to the Lord for having people in her life that were willing to support her the way that they did. But the greatest lesson she learned was how quickly doubt can slip into our hearts when situations in our lives change. Doubt is not a part of God’s Kingdom. It doesn’t come from Him, and it takes up space that only trust and love for God should occupy. So yes, dry seasons will sometimes occur in life, but our commitment to hold to God’s unchanging hands will ensure they are only temporary. He promises that ultimately, everything will work together for our good.■
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I Cry to You, But You Don’t Answer” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!