Not that long ago, I was praying for something. Something that didn’t come together the way my human mind thought it would. Thought it should. Something that, I just knew God was working out.

And then He didn’t.

It all fell through. I kept up my faith until the final second … doing everything He told me to, despite it making no sense.  

And then?  

Well, it felt a little like the joke was on me.

God didn’t work it all out. Not in the way it should have gone. Should, as in, the way that would have put a pretty little ending on a sweet story of hope. No movie-like endings here. Instead, His answer was silence.    

Um, hello?

So, like, why all the promises? Why all the promptings to move, to act, to get my hopes up only to be followed by nothing?

It can make you feel like you heard Him wrong. Have you questioning if it was your own will whispering that promise you heard.  

And in all honesty? That can stink. And that stink? It can be dangerous, especially if it settles in undetected. One day you’re believing, the next … questions quietly arise.

Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory?  

How does it look to you now?

Does it not seem to you like nothing?  

Haggai 2:3, NIV 1984, Emphasis mine

So, what is there to do on the other side of an unanswered prayer? When all you can see looks to be nothing? I hold fast to these words,

But now be strong, O Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord.  

‘Be strong, O Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest.  

Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work.  

For I am with you.’ declares the Lord Almighty. 

Haggai 2:4, NIV 1984, Emphasis mine

Be strong {repeated three times in that verse} and work, knowing He is with me. I’m glad to have that spelled out so directly, because if I’m being honest, can I admit what I would like to do? Sit around and grumble. Yep. Maybe ask, over and over, “Why?” Start paying attention to that tiny feeling that mutters, “Well, it probably wasn’t even Him!” Or even worse, start down the dark path of, “Who’s to say the next time I pray won’t be any different?”

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV

My human mind can’t make sense of His ways. And praise God for it. Because His answer, even if it seems to me to be nothing, is still an answer. What has continued to run through my mind, is a quote I read recently (but can’t remember where), “The teacher is always quiet during a test.”   

Do you feel grumbly or are questioning if you heard correctly? At times like this, it’s nice to have the next steps already laid out. Believing, not giving up, turning to Him when it might be tempting to run the other way.

In other words, be strong and work.

Will you join me, as I take them?

Is there yet any seed left in the barn? 

Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate 

and the olive tree have not borne fruit. 

‘From this day on I will bless you. 

Haggai 2:19 (NIV)

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