Psalm 35:13b-14a “When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother.”
This comes in the middle of a prayer of King David for God to stand up for him and fight against his enemies. It seemed to him that God was being silent while his enemies were free and unrestrained in their mockery of him. David was fulfilling his side of “treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself”, but he wasn’t being treated so nice by others.
I reached the bit about unanswered prayer and I started to think about my own response when God seems silent. King David digs in deep – out come the sack cloth and ashes. He mourns. He takes prayer to a deeper level, not content with God’s silence. It matters to him that God hears and God answers.
My own response is so very different. I had a very brief but clear picture of a new-born baby abandoned on a doorstep!
A mother is committed to the baby not just for the first few days, or until it no longer needs her milk, or until it can walk, or talk, or become a little bit more independent. The mother is committed right up until the child matures and leaves home, and even then she is still involved.
I may not have abandoned any babies on doorsteps, but I am quite sure I have abandoned some very important prayers, because I didn’t see an immediate response from God. Suddenly the burden became too heavy, I wasn’t sure that God was going to shoulder it with me, or that He was even interested, or that it really mattered that much. And so, just like an abandoned baby, I dropped it and walked away. I am not even sure that I dropped it on someone else’s doorstep!
I was reading earlier on this week about Caleb waiting forty-five years to finally claim his bit of the Promised Land. I don’t think I could even climb a mountain, let alone fight the giants who lived there. Caleb is not like me! He kept himself in shape and he held onto the word of God!
He abandoned none of his babies!