By Michael E. Brooks
“Do not hide your face from me in the day of my trouble; incline your ear to me; in the day that I call, answer me speedily” (Psalm 102:2 NKJV).
This morning as I booted up my laptop at a friend’s house to log on to the internet , I got the message, “limited or no connectivity” on his wireless network.
This, as all who use computers know, is not a rare occasion and was relatively easy to fix, at least in this case. I merely disconnected and then chose that network and hit the connect tab again and I was on.
Not all such problems are that easy to resolve, however. While I was in Bangladesh recently, I had to purchase a new modem because the one I had, suddenly went bad. Often there will be problems with the server which keep us off line for a day or two or longer.
Bad connections are not restricted to the internet. I have often been cut off for no known reason on mobile telephone calls, traditional phone lines, from television or radio reception, and every other common form of electronic communication.
Sometimes the reason is known, sometimes not. Frequently the interruption is brief, but on occasion it lasts for days or longer.
Even direct personal communication can be undependable. What man hasn’t had the experience of a wife, girl friend, or sister who would not speak to him? Who has not had a friend or relative cease communication?
These interruptions are not caused by electronic difficulties, but by anger, hurt, envy, selfishness, pride, or other spiritual and emotional problems.
By far the most serious connectivity issues however are those which affect our relationship with our Creator. Paul asks the question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
We paraphrase, “If God will hear us, what other audience do we need?” The Psalmist anticipated this sentiment when he begged God to listen to his prayer, and to not “hide your face from me” (Psalm 102:2).
God is ever present, seeing and hearing all. How then can he ever not hear our prayers? That is possible only when he consciously suppresses his hearing. He does so when we are proud (1 Peter 5:5), unrepentant (1 John 1:9), or separated from him by sin (Ephesians 2:12).
We, like the writer of this psalm, often feel distanced from God. He is transcendent, far above us and impossible for us to see.
We may be preoccupied with the immediate physical aspects of our lives and go for extended periods without thinking much about, much less speaking with and listening to God (through his word, the Bible). It is no wonder that we question whether he hears our prayers and knows our needs.
This morning I asked my friend to check his computer to see if he could log on to the internet. I wanted to know where the problem was, with the server, or his network system, or in my computer. He had no problem logging on. The difficulty was on my side.
When we have trouble connecting to God the problem is always with us. The Server is always up, always ready, always sufficient. It is our system which gets down and develops ailments.
If you feel separated from your Father, check your own heart and mind. Clear them of pride, sin and anger. God is waiting, anxious to resume communications.
By Michael E. Brooks