So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days [even though Lazarus was very sick].
— John 11:5-6 NLT
Most of us will face the long dark night of the soul when it seems as if God is absent and our prayers are nothing more than wasted breath. If God doesn't respond when we want him to respond, his delay in acting seems uncaring. We can feel abandoned and unloved by the God on whom we depend and for whom we seek to live. I claim no great wisdom in understanding the how or even the why of those times. The mystery of God's actions during those times is known only to him,  and his actions are as varied as we are. However, I do know three things:
- I know we can honestly cry out and share our deepest disappointments with our Father — after all, he gave us many Psalms that do just that.
- I know from this story about Lazarus and his sisters that the Lord's apparent absence is not based on a lack of love for us.
- I know that in the end, Jesus will triumph in us and through us and for us.
Father of glory and might, please give me the strength to face those times when you seem absent. I pray that you will please make your presence known to those I know and love who are facing just such agonizing times right now. Please use me to be a blessing to them in their time of loneliness and loss. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.