Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When God Feels MIA

When it Feels as if God is MIA

By Beth Farley

Photo by David Castillo Dominici
Taken from
Do you ever feel like God is MIA, missing in action? If so, when those feelings arise, how do you react?  Do you stomp your feet like a child? Or do you curl into a ball, feeling hopeless?

Thereve been times in my life where it seemed God wasnt present. During those times, I felt abandoned, lonely, and fearful. Earlier in my life, I had eight miscarriages. Each loss left me sad and confused. After the first two miscarriages, I thought my chances of carrying a baby to term were next to nil. I didnt know where God was.

In the middle of my mourning, I opened my Bible to the book of 1 Samuel. Through the account of a discouraged and distraught woman named Hannah, God spoke to me.  In the beginning of 1 Samuel, we learn Hannah is childless and heartbroken. (1 Sam 1-8) She desires to have a baby but cant. To make matters worse, her husbands other wife, Penninnnah, mocked Hannah and flaunted her ability to have children.

And in the middle of her despair, Hannah cried out to God.

I could relate to Hannahs heartbreak and her desperate pleas. When I couldnt hold onto my pregnancies and I would pass a woman who was pregnant or when we celebrated another birth in my church, I would silently cry out to God,
 “Please Lord, just one baby.

Hannah made the same plea. She visited Gods shrine at Shiloh, and after begging God for a child, promise if He were to give her a son, she would give her son back to Him. Shed dedicate him as a Nazirite, a holy man of God.

Eli, the priest at the shrine, thought she was drunk.

"'Oh no, sir!' she replied. 'I haven't been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don't think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow'" (1 Sam. 1:15-16 NLT).

Have you been there? In such a broken place, you prayed from the depth of anguish or resentment?

I have. Hannah as well, and God saw her. He heard her, and He answered her prayer.

Once Eli understood Hannahs actions and intent, he said:

"'In that case,' Eli said, 'go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of Him'" (1 Sam. 1:17 NLT).

After this, the Bible tells us, "The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time, she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, 'I asked the Lord for him'" (1 Sam. 1:19-20 NLT). 

Though Hannah might have felt as if God had abandoned her, as if He was MIAmissing in action, He heard Hannahs prayer, and in His perfect timing, He granted her a son.

God heard my prayer, offered in the quiet church pew, as well, and in 1986, I gave
Photo by David Castillo Dominici
taken from
birth to a beautiful, healthy daughter. Then in 1988 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Then in 1993, when the odds were stacked up against me and I was told by the doctors told that I could not have any more children, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

I dedicated each one of my children to the Lord through baptism and raised them in the church. I homeschooled them and jumpstarted their faith in Jesus.

Years later, as an empty-nester, I clearly see how God was never missing in action. He had a plan, I just couldnt see it. And His plan came to fruition, in His perfect timing.

My friends, God is never missing in action. When we dont understand, we need to trust. Hes always there with us. Hes always orchestrating a perfect plan. 

Where are you at, emotionally and spiritually, right now? Is there something you’ve been crying out to God for? A family member to seek treatment, a loved one to come to Christ, maybe a job offer to come? Does it feel as if God isn’t listening? Trust Him, friend. Cry out to Him, and know that He always hears you. What are some things you can do, right now, to center your heart in His ever-faithful promises and unchanging nature? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Before you leave, I wanted to remind you that Omaha Gives! is coming on May 20th. This campaign is a great way for us to gain funds for our ministry and increase community awareness. Will you help us do just that? Please share this link (copy and paste this: ) through emails and on your social media accounts and invite your friends to do the same. And prayerfully consider giving to our ministry during this time.

Help us point the hungry and broken in our community to their liberating, ever-present, attentive, life-transforming Savior. We also invite you to participate in our coming talent show and silent auction as a performer, auction donor, and/or attendee. Find out more here. We also invite you to sign up for our quarterly newsletter to receive great devotions, stories, updates, recipes, and more!  

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