‘My marriage took place fifteen years back and ever since, I have cried every day. My husband sold even my wedding ‘thali’ (nuptial necklace) and spent the whole money on alcohol. Every night I sleep totally exhausted from the blows I got from him. As they see their father coming home, our children run to the cattle-shed to hide there.
The children cry every day and kneel down before God praying ‘Please change our daddy’s drinking habit.’’ The other day my 12 year old daughter asked me, ‘Mummy, why God doesn’t hear our prayer? I think this God has no ears or He is ‘sort of deaf.’
I too thought so ‘why is God behaving like this? Have we done some crime? My faith is ebbing away. How much longer can I had on to my faith?’’
The above extract is from one of the hundreds of letters that I receive asking for prayers. Pain exhausts us. Endless suffering pushes us into despair. We cry out and pray for deliverance from our pressing problem. But when we do not get an answer to our prayers, we start doubting God Himself.
I too have been shaken in my faith many a time. You too may have had similar experiences in your life.
But the mercy of God through these life experiences has revealed and convinced me of one thing:
HE IS GOD WHO HEARS OUR CRIES
God is merciful towards all his creatures. He wants all of us to be saved and find the joy of salvation.
Even as I write this, many of my prayers are unanswered. There are many things that hurt and pain me and my family. Even in these trying situations I will tell from the depth of my heart that
‘God Hears our cries.’
Your incurable disease , your financial problem, poverty, fruitless prayer life, broken marital relationships, the rampant crime and injustice in and around us, all these and many others will whisper in our minds. ‘God is somewhere there far away, He is very cruel He is not interested in us…’
But how can God be insensitive to our cries? The Bible emphatically says that He is a loving Father. Can a loving father ever turn a deaf ear to the cries of his children?
Mathukutty is a member of our prayer group. He is an ordinary farmer. The other day he shared an incident with us which touched me deeply:
Once he was coming back home from the town about 60 km. away . After getting down from the bus, he had to walk some distance to reach home. It was midday and the scorching heat had fatigued him. The prospects of good afternoon rest spurred him on and soon he reached home. Once home, he put down the things he had brought and got ready to lie down. Then he heard a pathetic cry. It was his cow, tethered somewhere in the compound crying for water.
Not crying for his own fatigue, he took water for the cow, Once she had her fill, he tied her in a shady place and only then did he go back home for his rest. As he was resting, he thought:
I was completely tired and had only one desire on reaching home-to sleep. But when I heard my cow crying, I forgot all my fatigue and run to it…
… if so, when I cry out to Him, will my Heavenly Father just sit back unmoved? The God who knows well the pain and sorrows of my heart will certainly rush to comfort me. So why should I be disturbed and anxious?
Despite my financial strains, I want to give good food and beautiful dresses to my children and I work hard for that. If that be the case how much more will my Heavenly Father who is the source of everything be interested in fulfilling my (His son’s) needs?
When my children fall ill, I give them the best medical care and treatment possible. If that is so, how much more will my Heavenly Father, who is the source of all love and consolation, want me to be healed of all my sicknesses.
These thoughts raised that poor farmer to the highest levels of faith and love (of God).
Yes… God is our Father, He does not want us to be in pain, disease and hardships. No, He does not.
God sent His only begotten Son into this world so that no one who believes in Him may be lost. This salvation does not concern our spiritual realm only. It embraces our physical, mental, spiritual and interpersonal well-being; above all it is a plan and the only one for that matter, that promises salvation for world at large.
There is, that God who wants to fill us with His happiness, peace, prosperity and good health on one side. On the other side, there are those unfortunate people who with all their prayers and cries are unable to taste the sweetness of God’s blessings.
This contradiction weakness the faith of many. Many a time I was pained over my helplessness in replying letters filled with tears and despair. Therefore, I humbly wish that this little book will lead many thousands into that joy of salvation.
May this book help you to strengthen and reconstruct your broken lives and free you from your problems, whatever they are. The book will surely enable you to reach the sources of your tears and to taste and experience the glory of God’s justice. I say this because the idea of writing this book come to me, during moments of prayer. The Holy Spirit has been forcing and burdening my heart to write this.
The forces of evil too have tried in many ways to prevent me from completing this book. Twice I gave up the idea of writing. As soon as I take the pen in my hand to start writing, problems used to crop up in hordes. I passed through many experience which have been shattering me physically, mentally and spiritually. For weeks my life had been under the shadow of death threat for the sake of God’s Word. Even as I Write these, my backbone is paining very severely. Since, I had a nasty fall some time ago, my back got injured. I find it very hard and extremely painful to sit erect for long and write.
All these obstacles taught me a valuable lesson. God has a wonderful plan regarding this book. This book will be instrumental for the salvation of many. For each one of you who read these lines, I have prayed along with the Shalom prayer group also. Definitely, God will bless you abundantly through this book.
The Sacred Scriptures proclaim in concrete terms that even if the earth and sky pass away, God’s word will not pass. Therefore, let us cling on tightly to the Word of God. The Word says:
‘When you ask for anything in prayer you have only to believe that it is yours and it will be granted you’’ (Mark 11:24)
‘If you will only believe, every gift you ask for in prayer will be granted.’’ (Matt. 21:22)
‘Ask and the gift will come; see and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened for you. Everyone that asks will receive; that seeks will find; that knocks will have the door opened to him. If anyone of you is asked by his son for bread, will he give him a stone? If he is asked for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead? Why, then, if you, evil as you are, know well enough how to give your children what is good for them, is not your Father in Heaven much more ready to give wholesome gifts to those who ask Him?’ (Matt. 7:7-11)
‘I will enrich thee with the bread and the water thou needest and keep sickness far away from thy company; there shall be no unfruitfulness in thy land, no barrenness; and I will grant thee a full span of days.’’ (Exodus 23:25-26)
‘The God I serve will supply every need of yours; He has treasures of glory laid up in Christ Jesus.’’ (Philippians 4:19)
‘Believe me, you have only to make any request of the father in my name and He will grant it to you… ask and it will be given to bring you gladness in full measure.’’ (John 16:23-24).
Why does God keep back things which He has promised to us? Does God tell lies? Does the Bible, the Word of God, spread falsehood?
Could God’s Word be uttering lies and falsehood?
Then what has happened?
To grasp that, we need to know a little more of God’s love and justice.
We must be able to discern the meaning and value of suffering and the ugliness and horror of sin. This book will help you towards it.
‘God our Heavenly Father… we praise you… we thank you for this life which you have given us. Lord, we know that nothing takes place in our lives without your knowledge. We also believe that you solely wish for our welfare… Yet Lord, at times we understand nothing.
Please see our pain and despair. You know about our tears and hardships. Look with compassion. Lord, on our lives full of diseases, poverty, loneliness, alienation and neglect.
Please reveal your plan for us.
Enlighten the eyes of our souls, so that we can see clearly the roots of our pains and the meaning and purpose of our sufferings.
Please Lord, speak to me through each word in this book. Send down your Spirit and renew and awaken me… and change my life into a grace filled one.