How long?” is a fair question to ask of the Lord. He does not expect us to suffer in silence. In fact, it’s okay and desirable to pour out our petitions to Him. We need heaven’s healing. When we verbalize our confusion to our loving heavenly Father, we feel relief. Just to know that the Lord listens to our heartfelt cries, no matter how petty or profound, is reassuring. Sometimes we can’t sleep well at night. We wake up in anguish, our mind racing. Our heart needs a touch of grace and peace from Jesus. A troubled heart has a hard time with sweet dreams because there is a dread or disappointment that destroys its quality of rest. However, deep sleep accompanies those who are able rest in Him. Rest is a result of resting in the Lord’s presence (Exodus 33:14).
The pain will linger until you see Jesus face to face, because it is a touch from the Lord that will get you through this difficulty. Therefore, do not let this momentary affliction keep you from experiencing God. Adversity is meant to engage us with eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17). If everything were easy, we would be prone to forget our Heavenly Father. So while on earth, it is okay to ask, “How long?” Questions keep us from being clueless with Christ by driving us to our knees in dependency on Him. How long before you can be married? How long before your parents will be more understanding? How long before your teenager will mature? How long before the doctors can diagnose your ailment? How long before you can change careers or get a promotion? How long before finances are not such big issues?
All of these are fair questions and need to be asked. It is wise, healing, and hopeful to lift our concerns to Christ. But once we go to God with our questions, it is imperative that we listen to His answers. It is not enough just to question. We must be willing to listen to the Lord. His answer is simple yet profound. “As long as it takes,” is His compassionate reply. As long as it takes to accomplish His will; as long as it takes to mold us into the image of His son Jesus; as long as it takes for us to learn the lessons of faith, patience, love, and forgiveness; as long as it takes to break our stubborn pride and replace it with gracious humility; as long as it takes to die to ourselves; as long as it takes for God to glorify Himself through our lives.
So above all else, in your state of questioning and confusion, receive God’s unfailing love. How long before the Lord can love you? Right now. His love will see you through, so invite Him to love you as only the Lord can.