Sometimes the longer we wait for a promise from God to be fulfilled, the more glorious is His answer. There were 400 years between Malachi and Matthew. Those years are often called the silent years. There had been no prophet's voice, and the people began to be alarmed.
"Remember how our pastor has been encouraging us to keep a prayer list?" It was Patty, a new Christian, on the phone, eager to tell me about her new method of praying. "I made out my list and there were 150 people on it--my family, friends, and employees. I've decided to divide them into groups and pray for some of them each day, so I can pray more than just a 'Help him' and 'Help her.'"
A father told me that when his son went away to college, his absence left him with a deep sadness. One day in prayer he expressed his great longing to be with his son. God surprised him by saying, "There are some of My children I will never get to be with."
If you want to know what someone is really like, you must pray with them," a friend tells me. Perhaps she is right because it appears that Jesus judges our character by our prayers and meditations. When He saw Nathaniel, He gave him a high compliment: "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false" (John 1:47). He was saying Nathaniel was sincere, transparent, and without hypocrisy.
Lavena offered to chauffeur her elderly parents on a trip of a couple hundred miles. She finds driving in heavy traffic a harrowing experience, so she didn't sleep well the night before the trip. When morning finally came, she was too tired to start the journey.
God makes an abundance of promises for those who are meek--those who are humble and cheerful and content with what their gracious God allows them. The meek are not annoyed because they think they deserve better. They refuse to be irritated when they see others possessed of more honor or riches than their wise God has given them.
Roy Hession tells of a lesson God taught him as a young Christian. In his book My Calvary Road, he writes, "I saw a man walking the streets carrying sandwich boards on which were inscribed texts of Scripture--you know, encouraging ones like 'The wicked shall be turned into hell!'"