What is going on while God is silent? Is it me? Is it Him? Why can’t I hear Him? We have a human tendency to automatically assume that silence means we have wronged God or that he has abandoned us. Scripture, however paints a diffent picture.
Waiting on the Lord is not an easy thing to do. You wait for an answer, for community, to feel His presence move in a way you haven’t felt in a long time. Some are waiting for healing, some are waiting to find fulfillment and purpose. Why is He so quiet? Does He enjoy toying with our emotions as we flail about in our circumstances like a fish out of water? Every situation is unique and we may never fully understand, but make no mistake, when He chooses to move we will be transformed.
We have a human tendency to automatically assume that silence means we have wronged God or that he has abandoned us. Scripture, however paints a different view showing that although He promises to not abandon us, His “presence” is unpredictable. The Word of God, though is constant, it provides a familiar voice in the silence. Leaning on what He has said before during the historical times when He has chosen quiet can give insight to what He is doing. Scripture is a timeless game plan, an instrument of His making that guides us in our darkest moments. It is a place to turn when we feel alone, confused, and desperately scrambling for a lantern to light our way. It is there that our heart is first checked for any way we may have grieved the Holy Spirit. Confession, then, cleanses our heart where any cobwebs of wrong-doing have grown. It is often there that we find His mercy and grace waiting to speak to our heart, breaking the silence.
When it remains quiet though, He is doing more. He is moving elsewhere. When I think of scriptural references that mention God’s silence, the biggest most obvious one is the 400 years before Christ was born. Can you imagine? 400 years! Not just a lifetime, but four or five generations of no new word from the heavens. What did they do? Waiting on “that feeling” of God’s presence to give them the warm fuzzies for the day was worked out through generations until the presence of God must have seemed like a folks tale. Life did not let up for God’s people during this time, it included years of oppression and internal strife. But His people were busy in that Jewish legend states they translated the Torah into Greek (known as the Septuagint) and due to exile, learned to focus on what they still had rather than what they had lost. There were many groups that rose up in that time with differing opinions on “righteous living”, however they held to what they had already been given. What a reminder to not lose sight of the blessings we have, even when we long for something else!
When God is silent, we must check our heart, right ourselves with Him, and continue to wait. Time was pregnant when heaven opened and shared God with us so long ago. But because the world was ready and hungry for God beyond what they could bare, His movement was perfect in every way. In a different way, perhaps time is pregnant for you. Perhaps God the Father desires to move when you are most hungry for Him. Perhaps Jesus is there to open blessing upon you when your heart is most ready to be changed by it. Maybe when you have released your desire to control, have called out to find Him will you look back to see you were never alone in the chaos but that He sustained you, quietly.
“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:25-26
And so we will ask Him to remind us of His voice, love, presence, as we turn to His historical words. Trusting that we will recognize Him when he speaks again. Take heart! Time may be pregnant for you and His movement is surely coming in a way you may not expect, but He is certainly here.
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