Its been several weeks of the ‘silent treatment’ on here, since I haven’t posted much on the blog during this time. Not for lack of topics or material to cover, but I like to write from my heart about the things that have been happening or ‘burning on my heart’ in that season; just because it feels more honest/authentic.
And in the spirit of being ‘honest’ and ‘authentic’, so much has been happening over the past few months that to a degree, I’ve found myself overwhelmed and overtaken by events at the same time. Pulled in so many different directions with many important life-decisions to make all at once. Work, Social-life, Spiritual things and such – all calling for equal time and consideration.
I’ve been asking myself questions like should I stay where I am or should I go somewhere else? Should I look for something new or maybe I should just work with what’s already in my hands? Is it the right time? Or should I wait some more? Is it a Yes to this, or is it a No to that? And in the middle of all those loud questions in my mind, there remained a deafening silence in my heart… as I asked myself the question ‘Where is God and what is He saying about all this? Or rather…Why isn’t He saying anything at all??
The one voice I was so desperate to hear is the one that seemed to be the most silent…while everyone else was all too ready to offer their opinions, I might add. I say ‘seemed’ because God never is totally silent, but i guess our ability to hear and perceive what He is saying is what changes from time to time. And we often have to adjust our antennae to make sure we are tuned into His frequency.
If you’ve ever been in a valley of decision and/or experienced one of those seasons where God seems to be eerily silent – and you desperately need Him to say something / give you counsel and direction or even make the decisions for you ( 😉 ) then you know just how agonizing those times can be. So then, what do you do when you’re experiencing the confusion of silence?
Go back to the beginning…to the basics – I know its ‘boring’ nowadays to read the bible because there’s no ‘bells and whistles’ attached to such a simple discipline. We want to hear ‘words’ that come with fireworks and goosebumps, and sometimes through colourfully dressed messengers. But the Bible still remains THE Word of God. It comes to us unadulterated and without the tinge of the messengers’ personal interest and/or opinion. And through it, God expresses His pure thoughts about us, and on numerous other subjects that affect and concern our lives. When we are not sure, or we can’t clearly hear what God is saying in a particular moment/situation, it never hurts to revisit what He’s already said about us/the issue in His word. His character remains constant, His principles ever true and He continues to speak to us through that word when we take the time to ‘listen.’
The law of the Lord is perfect,refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Keep Praying …and talking to God – When something is bothering us, we typically have one or two go-to people that we can confide in or pour our hearts out to…even if they often can’t do anything physically about our situation. But talking to them not only makes us feel better, it is also an expression of trust. That we trust them enough with who we are even when the chips are down and we are not at our best. That is the kind of relationship we ought to cultivate with God. Where we’re not just asking for things, or always trying to put our best foot forward, but we can be real and honest with Him and just say, “God – this really hurts.” He wants to be, and ought to be our main ‘go-to person.’ And the difference is He CAN actually do something about the things we entrust Him with, when we do trust Him enough to open up and tell Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Develop/Grow your Trust – Often when God is ‘silent’ the first emotion that grips us is fear. Similar to the anxiety that a child experiences when they are separated from their parent/s. Few children have the fortitude to say to themselves, ‘You know what? I’ll just sit here and not worry, because I know my parents will come back for me.” The typical response is to cry and scream at the top of their lungs until either the parent/s return, or someone attends to them. But the older the child grows, the more they learn about their parent’s character. That when they say they will return, they really will. When they say they will buy you a particular toy, consider it bought. The times when God is silent are quite hard, I agree – and tend to be ripe opportunities for us to throw in the towel and even give up on God. Most folks stop praying, and stop talking to God about their desires/situations because they conclude He’s either not going to do anything, or they don’t trust that the answer/outcome will be desirable. But the times when there is no answer in sight are the times that require us to develop a deeper level of trust. To walk by Faith and not by sight. We tend to be quick to quote those verses but reluctant to live them. But grow your trust in God’s unchanging character, that He will do what He says He will do, and that when He promises, He will surely perform.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Be patient…but pay attention – There are many ways through which God speaks to us, and being tuned in to the right frequency is key to hearing what He has to say. Many of us need to throw out our preconceived notions of how the message will come, and just focus on being able to discern it when it does. We miss the answer in the still small voice or gentle breeze while waiting for lightning and thunder. At times God speaks to us in our thoughts or through an impression/strong feeling in the heart during our quiet times of reflection. At other times it may be through reading a book , including the Bible. When ideas and principles you have never come across hit you, or those you may already have known are strengthened and reinforced. It may also be through circumstances, and/or the wisdom of other people. (Beware of Knowing-it all!) In your time of waiting, be open and attentive to the voice of God, even if it’s through an unexpected or an unconventional channel. He has been known to have used a donkey once ( 😉 ) and being God…He reserves the right to communicate in whichever manner He deems appropriate. Ours is only to listen.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Expect an answer – 🙂
Imagine writing a letter, sending an email or calling someone…and there is no reply.
Not a good feeling, ey?
There’s many reasons in the ‘earthly realm’ why that happens, but with God…rest assured that there’s always an answer – and we should expect it! He has made this promise – Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ and we can hold him to it.
Often we think or conclude He hasn’t answered when the answer is different from what we were expecting, or when it involves us taking steps of faith or humility. Or when there is a cost to us. But those too are answers nonetheless. God’s answers are either ‘Yes, No or Wait.’
For those of you who are shocked…Yes – God can say ‘No’ too! 🙂 And when the answer is No, let that trust kick in that He who sees the bigger picture has deemed that there is a better…….(insert item in blank) out there for you. Sometimes what seems as rejection really is God’s protection. Trust Him to have your best interest at heart and to make all things work together for good to them that love Him. And that should include you. And when its a Yes – remember to give thanks for every good and perfect gift that comes from His hand. He is a good father and like any good parent, knows when to protect, when to teach, when to nurture and when to bless.
Lets trust Him more and see what He does 😉
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!