When you told me of your unanswered prayers, I felt the tears spring to my eyes. The tears fell for you and those for whom you pray, but they also fell for me and every saint who prays without answer. The space between promise and fulfillment is sometimes a dry valley.

I meant to tell you that we walk the valley in good company. I thought of Abraham, promised a son and a land and infinite blessing. He waited 25 years to see the son. He never owned the land, and the blessing was mixed at best. I thought of generation after generation of Abraham’s descendants, born and raised in slavery, only to die in slavery, promised a home that they never occupied. I remembered the prophets, who looked ahead and saw their nation’s Savior, but never lived to meet Him. And I remembered that Savior, crying and praying and sweating drops of blood, asking for some way around the Cross, but finding none.

I thought of John, who closed the last book of the Bible with a prayer that remains unanswered: Come, Lord Jesus.

For two thousand years now, we’ve waited for the answer to that prayer. Oh, Lord Jesus, please come.

I did tell you that the story isn’t over yet. There is more to be written, not only for you but for every saint made heartsick from waiting. I encouraged you to keep praying, because God isn’t finished yet.

Dear friend, God hears you. That hope sustained Abraham, as he counted the innumerable stars and felt those stars silently mock his prayers. That hope sustained the prophets and the believers and the martyrs, who prayed without answer for so many years.

God hears you, and the story isn’t over. Jesus will come and wipe away our tears. In the meanwhile, what can we do but keep praying and hoping and crying?

I also meant to tell you that He weeps with you. We remember how Jesus wept, but we often forget why. He wept for his friend Lazarus, but also because sin and death are intruders. They are always violators and defilers of all He made. Jesus felt what it’s like to wait, to live between promise and fulfillment. So He wept with us and He wept for us. Even now, He sees your pain, He weeps for it, and He promises to return and make everything right.

Oh Lord Jesus, please come.

When I see you, friend, I see a warrior. Your callouses are harder than my own, and your knees are softer. You’ve prayed and suffered in ways I don’t understand. I see how you radiate hope despite the waiting, and joy despite the pain. You know that God hears you, and that’s why you keep praying.

Please keep praying, please keep hoping, and please don’t give up. You’ve already reminded me in so many ways that He hears what we pray. You give hope to me and to every saint who waits for an answer.

The valley between promise and fulfillment can be a dark one, so let’s walk it together and look toward that day of fulfillment. God hears you, and His own Son walked this valley before us to show us just how well He hears.

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