Be still and know that I am God
- Psalm 46:10
When God is Silent
by Donna Thompson
This probably won’t be very long because as the title implies, God has been very silent over the past few weeks and I haven’t had any "revelation" about what to put down. But while I was driving into work this morning, I had sort of an epiphany that maybe this was exactly what He wanted me to write about.
If you’re like me, you have had periods in your life when God just seems silent, so silent in fact that you wonder if He’s there at all. You pray and it feels as if your prayers are not going any higher than the ceiling in your bedroom. You read the Bible and they are just words on a page with little or no meaning or impact for you. I don’t know about you but I really do not like those times and I have wondered what in the world is going on when God is so silent.
Certainly it isn’t because He has nothing to say and certainly it isn’t because I have attained such a high spiritual plane that I need no further instruction. He hasn’t exhausted the blessings He has for me and I certainly have not achieved the Christ-likeness for which we all strive.
So why the silent treatment? Well, I wish I had "the" answer but I fear I do not. I can only speculate about the times in my life when God is seemingly silent. I say "seemingly" because I know there are times when I think God is silent when in fact He is yelling so loud it is almost deafening. C.S. Lewis says that God shouts to us in our pain and I think that is because when we are going through bad times, He often has to get our attention and our focus off of the horizontal and back to the vertical. Eventually, I do hear Him and I find that the difficult times are not nearly as difficult as I thought they were and together, we talk through them and walk through them.
Chuck Swindoll has said that most of our lives we are sitting behind red lights and the few times that God gives a green light, we need to be ready to move when those green lights come and head out on the destination He has in mind. I much prefer the green lights to the red lights because it’s during those times I really see His hand at work.
But is God still working when we don’t hear Him or see Him working? Is He still up there loving us, concerned about our well-being, longing to bless us? Does He still want to use us? I think the answers to those questions are so obvious that those questions are quite rhetorical. For me, the question that comes to mind is more along the lines of "uh oh, what have I done? Is He mad at me?" And that’s probably because in our daily lives with our family and friends, the "silent treatment" is something that indicates we’ve really pulled a boo boo. I don’t know about you but when I’ve messed up, God is NOT silent and I sure wish He was!
But I think there is so much going on when God is not talking to us that we simply could not contain it all and thus, He is silent. I believe that during those times, God is gearing up to really move in our lives and all He is requiring of us at the time is to wait. It’s during the "silent treatment" that He wants us to be patient and to trust that He is still on the throne and He still wants to use us and He is still working out His perfect will in our lives.
While we remain here on earth, we are in a continuous classroom of instruction with the end goal of becoming like Christ. But as long as we have these earthly bodies, we will never see the end result of that goal until we stand before Him. I think the bottom line is to always remember that our Heavenly Father wants to bless us and "grow us up" far more than we want to grow up. He is constantly striving and His faithfulness and patience and consistency never cease to amaze me.
Our lives are very much like a giant jigsaw puzzle. He gives us a piece here and a piece there, and often, He tosses in a piece of the puzzle that connects to nothing and seems to not fit anywhere. But He promises that "all things work together for our good" and so all we can do is wait. Remember we only see pieces of the jigsaw puzzle as HE is putting it together, but God has the box top and He sees the whole picture! When He is silent, keep praying, keep reading, keep walking the path before you, keep persevering, keep trusting, keep waiting but at the same time, "be still and know that He is God."