There have been seasons in my life when I felt I couldn’t ‘hear’ God. It felt like he was far, far away. I felt abandoned. I felt forsaken. There have been different reasons for those seasons of silence.
Once, I was wanting God to move on my behalf, but he was waiting for me to take a step of faith toward him first. He was asking me to do a hard thing, but I wrestled and argued with him. I didn’t want to listen so I didn’t. I refused to listen. If we choose not to listen to someone we eventually stop hearing them. They become silent to us.
Another time I was bound up with anger because a prayer I had prayed had gone ignored. At that time I thought that if I ticked all the Christian ‘to-do’ boxes, I had a guaranteed ‘yes’ to my heart’s cry. This was not the case. I learned that the Christian ‘to-do’ boxes have a completely different purpose for our lives and do not include manipulating God to do as I wish.
Disobedience. Sin. Anger. These things have brought me through seasons when I believed that God had gone silent when in reality it was I who had plugged my ears. I was like the little child who clapped her hands over her ears and hummed real loud to drown out what she doesn’t want to hear. I am the one who had stepped away from his safety and refuge in my own grown up version of a temper tantrum.
But I have learned there is a different kind of silence. The kind of silence where God is calling me to sit quietly in his presence and let himself flow over me and into my spirit. The kind of silence that is comforting and refreshing.
In those moments, I am given a choice. In that kind of silence I have an option of trusting him or trusting myself and what I think I know is best. It’s usually in those kind of silent moments that I know that if I step into a deeper trust with him that I will soon hear him loud and clear.
I need to do two things: trust him and dive deep into his word. I am a huge fan of the Old Testament. I love both the Old and the New, but I learn so much about my human frailty and God’s great big deep love for me in the Old Testament.
I read about the Israelites and I learn how they dealt with silence and how God dealt with them….
The Red Sea was an insurmountable obstacle. As the Isrealites looked at the Red Sea before them and Pharoah’s army behind them, they determined it was better for them to live as slaves than to die free.
God split the sea for them to walk across on on dry ground.
While they waited for Moses to come down the mountain, they turned to Aaron and their own logic, and created a god because Moses was taking too long on that mountain.
God was instructing Moses on the way of life for His people.
Mankind is generally uncomfortable with silence. Mankind says silence needs to be filled. It is tempting to explain away the silence rather than pressing into the silence.
What if the silence became our cue to tuck in closer to him? What if we asked for faith to believe that He is working and moving in ways that we cannot see? Will you tuck in close and trust?
God could be about ready to split the sea for you. He could be about ready to speak loud and clear. God could be doing a mighty act of deliverance. He could be singing songs over you. He could be calling you deeper into him.
Can you listen for the silence to speak?