As I listened to my son tap the keys on the piano, a smile enveloped my face. He was role-playing, and the audience encircled the bench where he sat.
“Now, I’m going to play you a song you may have heard before….” he said, placing his fingers across the keys.
I leaned against the wall, soaking in the rhythm, not wanting to interrupt this moment. The notes of Yankee Doodle filled the house for the twentieth time that day, but surprisingly, I wasn’t tired of hearing it.
“That was perfect,” I said when the concert was over. And it was. Pride beamed from his face as he started the second and only other piece he knew.
In an instant, I realized how alike my son and I were. Even at seven, he had an innate desire to be seen. To be applauded for his efforts and acknowledged for a job well done.
He continued playing not only because he loved music, but because he loved the applause. I sat there with him until he was done, wanting him to know I saw the time and energy he put into making those notes soar.
Over the past few months, I had lost my bearings and found myself questioning whether anything I did had meaning or purpose. I knew God had called me to lead in ministry, to write and to share with others through stories, but my lack of progress left me feeling discouraged, wondering if I’d lost my way.
Since I didn’t see results, I concluded there were none. But often the real progress takes place below the surface, in the areas we don’t see.
As I fumbled through the darkness, my prayers seemed to go nowhere. Instead of feeling the closeness to God I craved, it was as though he’d taken a vacation. I knew He would never leave me or forsake me, but I longed for the intimacy I once felt.
Often at a loss for what to do, I continued praying. Even when I wasn’t sure what to say, I brought my words before the Lord.
I prayed for wisdom and direction. I prayed my life would be a light to others and bring glory and honor to his name.
When we pray through the dark, God can use our words as evidence of his Light.
One day as buds formed on the trees outside, I received an email from the coordinator of a ministry where I volunteered. She was following up on an inquiry and wanted to let me know about praise report she’d received. A member of the critique group I led had emailed them, thanking them for the community and commending my work.
As I scanned over the words, my eyes filled with tears. I thanked God for his grace and sovereignty, even when I doubted. I thanked Him for his power to move, even when my progress seemed stagnant.
Although I couldn’t see God through all the months of uncertainty, he was still working. When I didn’t see progress, he was still using me and moving through me. I continued in obedience to his call, and He was faithful to do what only He could do.
Friend, if you’re in a season where you can’t see growth and you question whether God is still using you, can I encourage you to come before Him in prayer? God will use those words muttered in the dark for his glory.
Pray through the uncertainty and I can assure you of this: God will show up.