The blinking cursor

I usually write my blog post on Monday mornings, and I am seriously rethinking my schedule. There wasn’t enough coffee in my cup for the day. After reading my morning devotions, I found myself filled with anger toward the news reporters who thought their points of view should be our wisdom. God’s opinion was never a consideration, and his is the opinion that matters most. God wasn’t interviewed.

The Holy Spirit lives in me, but Monday morning, God seemed lost in a crowd of other thoughts. My computer screen remained blank, except for occasional sentences which I eventually deleted. The blinking cursor was all that remained and seemed to say, “I’m waiting, I’m waiting, I’m waiting . . . ”   Then, that blinking cursor became a spiritual lesson from God.

The television news will never be an adequate source for information. Reporters are only as good as their producers and directors, who tell them what to say and how to say it. The same is true for my life and yours. This blog post can be my opinion, the opinions of others, or—I can interview God and ask for his thoughts. The blinking cursor that seemed to repeat the words “I’m waiting” became God’s message for the blog post this week.

A blank computer screen isn’t bad if the blinking cursor is still there. My cursor stopped saying, “I’m waiting” and started saying, “Ask me.” One of my favorite verses is “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3). Is there something you need to know? Do you feel like you have been praying and the only answer is a blank screen with a blinking cursor? Maybe you have been waiting on your answer instead of God’s.

Jeremiah 33:3 is a three-part sermon in one verse:

  • Call to me and I will answer you. When we pray, God’s answer is a promise. God answers at the right time, and, in my experience, his timing is rarely my own. If the screen remains blank and the cursor is still blinking, then he has answered: “Stay faithful and wait.” Waiting is one of God’s most common answers to prayer because waiting on God often means waiting with God. The right response is to let the screen stay blank, pray more often, seek his presence, and keep talking to him. You have God’s answer, just not all of it.
  • God’s answers are great and hidden things. The television news isn’t reporting what is truly happening in the world because producers don’t look for the great and hidden things God is doing. Reporters aren’t paid to ask, “What is God doing in the world?” Wouldn’t that be an interesting news story! He created the world, he has ordered it, and he will control the ultimate outcome of every choice, in every country. When we ask the right questions, we will get his right answers. But God’s answers are “great and hidden,” and until someone asks God for his revelation, the news reports will be filled with other ideas.
  • God’s answers are not our own, and they are not someone else’s. When we pray, we should expect God’s answer to be a surprise, something we would never have considered. God’s answers are revealed, and they are revealed to the people who are asking for them. “Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and hidden things you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3). Every prayer has an answer, and the answer is personal. Other people will have ideas, but your answer is from God. If your answer isn’t spelled out yet on the screen, focus on the blinking cursor and wait.

The screen might stay blank a while. The blinking cursor may not be revealing the words you are expecting, and, when the answer does come, it will probably surprise you. The “hidden things” will be revealed, but, until then, the cursor is offering God’s answer. With each blink God is saying, “I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.” If the only thing on the screen is that message, you have your answer.