I’m not sure when it became popular to use the sound of crickets to symbolize the dead space of nothing happening.

You’ll hear it on television ads and programs. Someone is expecting something to happen or someone to say something, and instead, all they hear is… the sound of crickets.

I hear crickets in my prayer life sometimes. I’m sure I’m not alone. I pray and pray for something and expectantly listen for the answer and…nothing.

Crickets. Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

I think I’ve shared these quotes by Oswald Chambers before, but they bear repeating. For me, anyway. From his book, “If You Will Ask”:

“God’s silences are His answers. If we only take as answers those that are visible to our senses, we are in a very elemental condition of grace. Can it be said of us that Jesus loved us that He stayed where He was because He knew we had a capacity to stand a bigger revelation? Has God trusted us with a silence, a silence that is absolutely big with meaning? That is His answer. The manifestations will come in a way beyond our comprehension.

Are we mourning before God because we have not had an audible response? Mary Magdalene was weeping at the supulchre -what was she asking for? The dead body of Jesus. Did Jesus give her what she asked for? He gave her something infinitely grander than she had ever conceived – a risen, living, impossible-to-die Lord.”

“God has trusted you in the most intimate way He could trust you – with absolute silence, not of despair, but of pleasure because He saw you could stand a much bigger revelation than you had at the time.”

“His silence is big with terrific meaning that you cannot understand yet, but presently you will. Time is nothing to God. Prayers were offered years ago and God answered the soul with silence. Now He is giving manifestation of the answer in a revelation that we are scarcely able to comprehend.”

I can’t be bothered by the sound of crickets anymore after I’ve prayed and nothing seems to happen. God wants me to trust Him with the silence.

Crickets may just be the sound of God doing something. Something big.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. John 11:5-6

Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. Isaiah 30:18

After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Hosea 6:2


Sometimes I wonder about the significance of my life. Why am I here? What does God want from me? What am I supposed to be doing?

I’m probably not alone in that. We want to know that our lives have a purpose.

I found something the other day that gave me a very unique glimpse into that purpose. It startled me and humbled me. But it made me smile as well. My Dad wrote a book many years ago titled, “Just A Moment”. Each chapter tells the story of something in his ministry or in his life, stories of God’s faithfulness and provision. I ran across a copy of that book the other day.

And one of the chapters is about me. When I was just seven months old, I became pretty sick. And almost died. Here is how my Dad tells the story:

Twice, my little girl was on the critical list. Once, after a severe relapse, she failed to regain consciousness. Ushering my wife from the hospital, I prepared myself for the worst.

That night, with her life hanging in the balance, I watched one of the top pediatricians in the New York area call other doctors. None had discovered any new treatment for “para-influenza”. That germ had wrecked Sharon’s intestines. Nourishment was impossible and dehydration was in a lethal stage. She was dying of malnutrition. So deteriorated was her tiny body that the veins were collapsing and artificial means of feeding were to no avail.

The doctor said, “We’re doing all we can, but it may not be enough. I can give you no real hope.”

That single night will forever be a monument in my memory as my little girl teetered on the threshold of eternity. While two specialists went into the minor operating room in search of a single vein in her weakened body, this evangelist telephoned a select few of God’s people, among them my own father. “Dad, ask people to pray, because if God doesn’t work a miracle, she’ll not last the night!”

Cradling the phone, I went into a small waiting room and knelt to yield myself and my daughter to the will of God.

At length, I heard a baby cry. The doctors had found a vein and my child was conscious. There was hope! Within an hour a Christian nurse stood at Sharon’s bedside to see her through the night. And with the help of private nursing my child inched her way back to shaky health. In the process she consumed 97 bottles of intravenous fluid, underwent two minor operations, spent five tedious weeks in the hospital and had lingered near death. Finally, we gathered up a weak but mending little bundle of life and took her home. Sharon would live.

But her body will always bear the marks of her brush with eternity. The two operations left cross-shaped scars on her ankles clearly visible even today. Only recently , she pointed to them and asked, “Daddy, what are these marks?”.

I answered, “Honey, you’re too young to know about it right now. When you are a little older, I’ll tell you the entire story.”

And what will I say? I’ll recount the anxious weeks, the bottles, the operations and the night of prayer. But those scars will receive special attention. I’ll remind her how they represent two Biblical themes: life and death. They are the marks of near death and at once the emblems of new life graciously given. And I’ll explain how she must refuse to live for herself; how ungrateful it would be to lead a self-centered life when her very breath depends on the mercy of God. And then I’ll turn in my Bible to Paul’s Galatian epistle and remind her that another man was branded; marked as she is. For Paul stated his dedication of life and singleness of purpose by saying in Galatians 6:17: “From henceforth let no man trouble me for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

Paul was eternally branded. How and where? The question had already been answered in Galatians 2:20: “For I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Those marks were Calvary’s marks. In conversion, Paul was branded as a special possession of Jesus Christ. These are the marks of death and life and every Christian is so marked in genuine conversion.

Then, I’ll apply those scars on Sharon’s ankles to a life-long reminder that she is not her own, but purchased with a price. Her allegiance must be to the God Who saved her life. She is truly, “a dead person on furlough”.

So there it is.

God could have taken me into eternity that night, but He didn’t. He has me here for a reason. And as Dad’s words reminded me this weekend, “yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Those cross-shaped scars on my ankles are still visible today. Sharon, you’re marked. For Him. For life.

…always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:10

A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. John 14:19


Soaking wet firewood doesn’t light too easily. And if it’s really wet, it’s just about impossible.

No, this isn’t about camping. But it is about things that seem impossible.

I recently came across the story of Elijah and Ahab and the miracle on Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18. Elijah had challenged Ahab to prove his gods were more powerful than the Lord God. They agreed to make sacrifices on piles of wood, and then Ahab would ask his gods for fire from heaven, and Elijah would ask his God for the same.

Ahab and his men made a spectacle out of themselves crying out and waiting for their gods to respond. Which, of course, they didn’t. Elijah, believing that his God would come through, decided to make it even more impossible in order to prove beyond any doubt that his prayers were heard.

And that’s when things got wet.

For Elijah, it wasn’t enough to just ask God for fire. He poured pots and pots of water all over the sacrifice and the wood and the water ran all around the altar. Oh, and he filled a trench, too. And all that impossibly wet wood didn’t make one bit of difference. When Elijah called out to God, “the fire of the Lord fell down and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust and it licked up the water that was in the trench.”

Take that, Ahab.

You know, sometimes I feel like there has been water dumped on my prayer requests. Sometimes it seems that answers are improbable, if not impossible. Take, for instance, my prayers for a husband.

I wrote a book 9 years ago about waiting on God but I’m still waiting. SPLASH.

I work and worship in places where there are few single men my age. SPLASH.

The statistics aren’t in my favor. SPLASH .

But you know what? My God seems to love impossible situations. He loves taking soaking wet wood and making a roaring fire out of it. He doesn’t have to answer in the way I want Him to, but I know He could. It doesn’t matter how difficult or challenging or overwhelming things get.

So maybe instead of getting discouraged over delays or disappointments or things that get worse before they get better, we need to be reminded of the wet wood on Mt. Carmel.

Splash. Pour on the impossible. I’m watching for the fire.

Nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. Jeremiah 32:17

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26


He leadeth me! O blessed thought!
Oh words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be,
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me! He leadeth me!
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Sometimes ‘mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters calm, o’er troubled sea,
Still ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Lord, I would clasp thy hand in mine;
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Thy grace, the victory’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since Thou through Jordan leadeth me.

Hymn, “He Leadeth Me” by Joseph H. Gilmore, 1834-1918

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8

The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. Psalm 25:9

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6