There are many heroes of the 1960s U.S. Space Program who remain household names to this day: Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, to name a few. How about Gunter Wendt? Wendt never traveled into space. But his was the last face astronauts saw as the capsule hatch was sealed before liftoff for some three decades.
Wendt worked for McDonnell Aircraft, designer of the project Mercury and Gemini capsules. Wendt was “Pad Leader;” the man in charge on the launch pad. That changed with the Apollo capsule, which was designed by North American Rockwell. The change did not sit well with astronauts who literally trusted Wendt with their lives. The astronauts on the first Apollo flight insisted Wendt return as Pad Leader. And NASA convinced Rockwell to return Wendt to his old job. All of this prompted one of the Apollo 7 astronauts to joke: “I vonder vere Gunter vent,” imitating Wendt’s thick German accent.
As Christ-followers we are taught to put our faith in God. People at some point will let us down. But what about when God goes silent for a season and we ask: “I wonder where Jesus went?” Someone once said, “if God seems distant, check to see who moved.” Unlike Wendt, Jesus doesn’t get reassigned. So, it’s important for us to do a self-examination when God goes quiet. As Bob Goff put it: “God uses uncertainty to chase us out into the open where we can find Him all over again.”
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)
We seem to connect with God just fine when our circumstances are good. But when we are in a difficult season, we tend to think of prayer as a cosmic 911 call. We expect a response in minutes; not hours or days and certainly not months or years.
God can use these times to remind us who is in control, to build our faith. Fear and uncertainty can either bring us closer to God or create distance from Him. If you’re feeling the latter, check to see who moved. Recognize your dependency and pray to God about it. The astronauts could refuse to fly until Wendt came back. That doesn’t work with God. So, as you wait for Him, pray about what He’s waiting for from you. Because Jesus hasn’t gone anywhere.
This post was republished with permission from Oakbrook Church. http://Oakbrookgb.org