By Billy Walker
Have you ever wondered why God seems to be answering everyone else’s prayers but not yours? Does it seem like He’s always available for your friends and semi-friends (c’mon, it’s all those people who say they’re your friends on Facebook, but who you haven’t really spoken to or seen in decades), but just not you?
And speaking of Facebook, doesn’t it seem like everyone else’s life is so much better than yours? The vacations they take, the cars they buy, their kids who get all A’s and help old ladies across the street at every intersection. The churches they pastor and lead all seem to be experiencing tremendous growth.
But it never seems to be you!
What’s going on and what’s God doing? Is it possible He’s forgotten about you, your circumstances, and your difficulties? No. There may be a unique combination of punctuation, science, and a story from the New Testament that will shed some light on this.
What Punctuation Says
First of all, the punctuation mark. Do you know them all? Go ahead, try to guess. Ready, GO! Did you get them all? Are you still trying and it’s taking you longer than you thought? There are 14 in all, some commonly used, some not so much.
One that you might be aware of but never able to name is the symbol for DOT DOT DOT…it’s called an “ellipsis.” What it means is something is missing. It can be used at the end of a sentence to indicate it’s unfinished.
Maybe that’s what is happening with the prayers we’re praying. Sometimes, it’s “yes,” and sometimes there’s most definitely a “no.” But sometimes, the final chapter hasn’t been written.
That’s because your story isn’t finished yet. There’s more to be said, more to be done, and more to be answered.
The problem is that while we’re living in the dot, dot, dot of life, we tend to give up, stop praying, and stop believing because we can’t see anything happening. We’re not even sure we can see God at all!
What Science Says
That’s where the science of an eclipse comes in. An eclipse is telling us something too.
The true Light that’s supposed to be part of our daily journey seems to be covered up and unable to penetrate through the darkness that surrounds it. And it’s affecting our trip through life.
We’re tired of Facebook and Instagram seemingly showing us how easy life is for everyone else while knowing inside how really difficult things are for ourselves.
What Scripture Says
But here’s where Luke 7:18-23 comes into play. Check this out:
Then John’s disciples told him about all these things. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
When the men reached him, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask you, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”
At that time Jesus healed many people of diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits, and he granted sight to many blind people. He replied to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news, and blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”
John the Baptist is in prison, and it’s not going well. He’s locked up in a cell out in the desert, and Jesus has gone to a seaside villa.
In fact, John has heard from his friends (and probably Facebook) that Jesus is doing some amazing things for people, even supernatural things, but John hasn’t gotten a visit, a care package, a card—and they’re supposed to be cousins. What’s going on?
John begins to waver. Just a short time before, he had pointed out Jesus and called Him the one who would take away the sins of the world. He had even experienced that incredible baptism in the Jordan river.
But amidst the darkness of his cell, he’s wondering, questioning, and doubting. And Jesus responds with “blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”
In other words, “Just because I haven’t made a move yet, John, don’t stop believing (“Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit…” Sorry, 80s Journey moment). God blesses those who keep believing, keep praying, and keep moving.
Every day is one step closer to God answering, to Him finishing the sentence that we think has already been finished. Remember ellipses will ultimately get finished, and eclipses will ultimately pass.
If the cousin of Jesus is any kind of an example, everybody is going through something at some point—even your friends on Facebook who seem to have it all together.
So don’t quit! Don’t stop praying! Don’t stop looking for the light of God’s direction! If you find yourself in the “Ellipses Eclipse(s)” of life, keep looking for God to…well, we’ll let Him finish it!
BILLY WALKER (@billyhwalker) is the pastor of Calvary Church in Southgate, Michigan. He is the vice president of the Billy Walker Evangelistic Association and is the president of the Pastor’s Conference for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.