Does God really care? Does he really pay attention to us, to our life, to our pain, to our suffering? Does he listen to our prayers? Why does he seem to leave us in our “mess” after we’ve cried for help? Have you ever asked some of those questions in your moments of pain … with hope disappearing like the morning mist?
In today’s gospel passage from John, the blind beggar has been suffering for 38 years. He’s been hoping for healing for 38 years ! The passage begins with describing the story of “a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man there had been ill for thirty eight years.”(John 5:3-5) How old was this man….at least 38, maybe 48, 58, 68 ??? We know he had been waiting to be healed for a long, long time. Was the 38 years of his suffering of any value? Did God accomplish anything in the 37 years and 364 days before he was healed? Were these just years of unredeemed misery like being put on HOLD as you wait for the service agent to take your call…”your call is important to us, just wait on the line and we will be right with you…….5, 10, 30, 40 minutes later…..your call is important to us…”? Did this time of waiting for healing count for anything ?
I was talking to a friend recently who has prayed years for healing of her daughter and more recently for her husband who suffers from Alzheimer. So many of her dreams for her family have seemingly vanished. It’s been very difficult. Has God been doing anything…is he listening to her prayers… did he just put her on HOLD? Has her suffering counted for anything? ABSOLUTELY …. God has been at work bringing about magnificent things. Her daughter has made wonderful strides and been healed in great ways. But perhaps even greater, she is becoming holier and holier; she has been transformed thru this suffering. She has laid her dreams and hopes for her life and family at the foot of the cross and she is still standing… she is a woman of faith. God has not been absent. God did not put her on HOLD. He has been at work and she will one day see fully the miracles he worked on her behalf.
In the Magnificat Lenten Companion today, Elizabeth Hansen comments on the blind beggar in the gospel saying “our time awaiting healing counts too… it counts to let our disappointed hearts still hope …. to not calcify or become bitter, but to remain open and vulnerable… it counts to wait. He comes.”
So, how about you and me? Even the so-called “perfect life of health and success” is like a flower in the field…. blooming in the morning and withered by the afternoon sun. God is not about answering prayers with only temporal value, that bloom for a moment and then pass away. He’s about bringing eternal happiness, beginning with glimpses of wonder in this world but then blooming for eternity …. in heaven where all our prayers are fully answered, beyond our wildest dreams. Our hope is in heaven. God never puts us on HOLD. He’s always on the line …. listening and healing and blessing. He knows the time is coming when we will unwrap the magnificent gift of fully answered prayer and he already knows the look of wonder and joy that will be on our face. Wow, let’s keep going. Let’s keep hoping and trusting our Lord. This is really Good News !!!
One thought on “God Never Puts Us On “HOLD””
I believe there’s a special grace for long suffering esp thru the path of redemptive suffering. We surrender all to Our Lord on the cross for the redemption of souls. God can do amazing work in our hearts, minds and bodies that suffer. Caregivers get blessed with special grace also🙌🏻