Many who go through great tragedies or experience terrible mistreatment in life have been tempted to ask if God is asleep on the job. Maybe you have been there. Maybe you are experiencing great problems. Maybe there is chaos surrounding you and your family. Maybe you feel that God isn’t answering your prayer. The Psalmist in the 44th chapter of the book of Psalms had a similar feeling. He felt as though God had forsaken and forgotten him and his people. He cried out, “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? Arise cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?…Arise for our help…” (v. 23, 24, 26a). The Psalmist could not understand the calamities that his people were facing. The Psalmist did not actually believe God was asleep, but it felt so as he sensed that he had been forsaken.
The Word of God makes it clear, that although we may not be able to trace the plan and purpose of God in every situation, He “…shall never slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). Although we feel at times as though God is sleeping, we must remind ourselves of the truth that He is vigilant and alert in the working out of all His eternal plans. He is working the very details of our lives at every moment of every day. Just as a mother learns how to sleep with one ear open to hear the cry of her newborn baby, so God has both ears open to the cries of His children. God never sleeps. He never slumbers. His ears are constantly engaged as He listens for the cries of His children. “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:15). God understands our needs and He is ever mindful of them.
So why are there times when it seems that His ears are not open to our cries? Or why are there seasons of life when it seems as though everything is out of control? Or why doesn’t God do something right now? The answer to that is found in the eternal wisdom of an unchanging God who is active at work at all times and in all places. When it seems as though God is delaying intervention, that is not a sign of His lack of concern or a lack of His power or His lack of activity. God does His will in His time when it will do us the most good and bring Him the most glory. Everything is orderly and purposeful in the mind of God even when everything seems chaotic and purposeless in our own hearts. God’s timing is never too early and it’s never too late. From the moment we are born to the moment we die, God is accomplishing His sovereign plan and purpose in our lives. He has never nor will ever sleep on the job.