Have you ever sent a text message to a friend, in hopes of having a question answered quickly? Their phone’s messaging service showed that they had read the message, so you waited anxiously for a reply. As moments pass, you grow frustrated, groaning in annoyance at the delay. Irritation eroded into worry; you wondered whether the lack of response meant there was a problem. Eventually, a reply came. What a relief. The friend had simply been sorting out the details needed to answer the question.
In the bible, Daniel the prophet also anxiously awaited a reply. He received a frightening vision of war that troubled him. Daniel fasted and sought God through prayer. For three weeks, he received no reply. Finally, an angel arrived! Hallelujah! and assured Daniel his prayers had been heard by God “since the first day.” In the meantime, the angel had been sorting things out on behalf of those prayers. Though Daniel didn’t know it at first, God was at work during each of the twenty-one days that elapsed between his first prayer and the angel’s coming.
Today, the confidence that God hears our prayers can cause us to become anxious when His reply doesn’t come when we want it to. We are prone to wonder whether he cares and why the wait. Yet Daniel’s experience reminds us that God is at work on behalf of those He loves, even when it isn’t obvious to us. Remember, your answer is on the way.
Your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. Daniel 10:12
Yahweh, thank you for sorting out my life even when I don’t even realise it. Father, help me to trust your care for me even when I can’t see it, understand it, or it seems like you’re taking too long. I will remember that “God is always at work on behalf of His people”. In Christ’s name amen.