SOURCE: Peter Martyr Vermigli
It especially torments the saints when in their afflictions they are not heard at once.
For their carnal nature taunts them: “Why doesn’t that God of yours hear you now?”
These insults must be blunted by great faith. Let us remember that Christ when he prayed in the garden, also was not heard at once but rather after His resurrection. And when He prayed for those who nailed Him to the cross, they were not saved at once, though many of them were later converted to God after Peter addressed them.
If, therefore, in Christ’s case, vows and prayers were delayed, and if God held back His gifts from Him for a short time, why are we, on our part, so very frustrated that we are not heard sooner?
God does not act cruelly but prudently. As He knows what is useful for us, in the same way He alone knows the right times, occasions and opportunities to give things to us. So let us not prescribe the hours for Him rashly. If we do not dare to do this with a medical doctor, why with God?
And because we are not heard so quickly, we ought not on that account to desist from what should be the beginning of our praying. We are instructed to “pray without ceasing.” For prayer may never be without fruitful results for us. And often fruits that are late ripe and long expected are better and more fit than those that are premature, sudden and unseasonable. What is more pleasant than grapes or figs that are nonetheless a year tardier than all the rest? The Lord’s incarnation was long requested by the father’s and it was given late. We too “wait” avidly for the blest hope, that is “the advent of Christ and the great God” which, however, is given last of all. If we can wait in the case of these serious matters, for as long as it should please God, why cannot we wait when it comes to our own longings, often so much less serious?
–Peter Martyr Vermigli “Commentary on Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah” — (1499 – 1562), was an Italian theologian of the Reformation period.