In our prayer sermon series we have looked at our image of God as a powerful, yet loving heavenly Father, who longs for us to enter into a personal relationship with Him. He knows us, hears our prayers, and responds in His infinite wisdom. However at times, when we pray, it appears that God isn't there, or isn't listening, or is absent. How do these two aspects of God equate? Scripture doesn't shy away from this conundrum, and in Job, Lamentations and some of the Psalms, we see people wrestling with this 'absent God'. The issue is really our perspective on any matter being limited, while God has the larger picture. In the end it is often when we've come through the difficult situation that we see that God has been there all the time, just out of view. Job is the classic scriptural reflection on suffering, and through it Job cries out in anger, anguish and despair to God. In the end, just before his restoration, Job sees God in a new way, despite his suffering, and says: "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you" (Job 42:5). Scripture frequently speaks of perseverance in prayer, and even when we apparently get no answer to keep asking, knocking and seeking. I pray that through times of trial we will see a fresh image of God, and marvel at his wisdom and trust in His sovereignty.