We live in a world where we expect immediate responses from those we communicate with each day. We have the ability to know if someone has READ a text we send and when they read it. If we post something on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. we are constantly looking to see how many comments, likes or other reactions we get to that post and how quickly they arrive.
For some reason though, God didn't get the memo letting him know how WE expect things to run these days!
God's word says "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. So why do we expect Him to live, work and react on our timeline?
The bible is full of situations where those seeking God did not hear from him. And in some instances, it was not just minutes or hours, it was days, weeks, months and/or years.
In Psalm 13 David writes: "O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?"
In Isaiah 64, we read "You have hidden your face from us."
In Judges 6, we hear Gideon say "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about...but now the Lord has abandoned us..."
Another Psalmist - Asaph - wrote in Psalm 74:9, "We are given no miraculous signs; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be."
You may be walking in that space today where you hear nothing. It's total silence from God. You cry out but there's no response. I get it! I've been there! Very recently!
Here's what God has taught me through this time...
- God wants me to walk by faith, not by sight. And in the dark spots, in the rooms where there is no light and no voice to direct my steps, walking by faith is the only option. It means that I must lean into Him more - not less - for discernment and direction.
- Paul says to work out our salvation through fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). I can't think of a better way to do that than walking on a dark road alone. One of the ways that God sanctifies us is by making us humble and in that humility, we have a choice to either hold fast to the cross or be like the old Frank Sinatra song and do it "My Way."
- Part of His testing in my (our) life is a desire to grind down the rough edges of our hearts. One of the best ways He accomplishes this is by leaving us in the fire a little longer.
Through the silence recently, I have been convicted that my time with God each day was spent as if I was putting together His To-Do list for the day. "God, I need this. God, I need that. God, please do this. God, please do that." My Heavenly Father is no different than I am when it comes to my children - He wants my heart's desire to long for His PRESENCE not just His PRESENTS!
God is never far from us and He hears our cries. He is standing back in that Silent Place - just like we do as parents - and hoping that we pass The Test. He is hoping that we will be like David was in the last two verses of Psalm 13 and say with confidence:
"But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me."