Have you ever read the Bible and thought, “What in the heck?”
I still find potions of Scripture difficult to understand or even agree with at times. I hope that it is ok that I admit that I am challenged by the Word of God at times in my limited understanding. The words of Scripture can be full of surprising prayers, mind-bending revelations, and hard to accept truths. Often for me, some truths God reveals in the Bible are challenging to understand because there is more in God’s Word that I need to eat and obey.
There are times, however, when it is not Scripture that interrupts our faith. It is God’s silence. In fact, God’s silence can be far more baffling to us as His followers than His words. After all, in Scripture, He is revealed as the logos, the Word. The last time I checked, words are not silent.
The first book of the Bible introduces our Creator as the living God who speaks. It is through His life-giving Word that this world was created in perfection and harmony. Human beings came into existence through His spoken Word and breathed deposit of DNA. Speaking is one of the things we hold as evidence that He is a personal God and not some impersonal force or power.
Yet there are times when God relates to us in silence. As strange as it might sound, even His silence is a sign of God’s personal being. He is free to speak, and He is free to withhold His penetrating voice and nudging encouragement. His silence is an expression of His personal sovereignty and freedom. We have to admit, however, that when we wait for an answer from God and experience only silence, it is hard to keep patient and certain in our faith.
There have been times when God’s people have gone through hundreds of years without hearing from God. The time between the last book of the Old Testament and the birth of Jesus (400 years) was a time where God was working in the background, setting the world stage for Act Two, “God’s People Redeemed!” Imagine that. We can start to question our faith if our lottery numbers don’t hit, lol.
So what do we do in our own lives when God is silent? We pursue him, we draw near enough to hear the whisper, and we lay down our issues so that we might become God’s solution for someone else. He is rearranging the stage so that He can work out what He has for you in this next season. Know that at just the right time, the curtain will rise, and things will be perfectly positioned to achieve God’s will in your life. That is why we can never confuse God’s silence with absence; we need to lean into our faith and understand that He is working things out for our benefit.
You may say that it is hard to feel and experience God’s grace when all you hear is His silence. You would be correct, but it is our responsibility to remember that God promised never to leave or forsake us. In fact, He has left us the Holy Spirit and with a mission to accomplish. Just because we can’t hear Him doesn’t mean we are supposed to quit being like Christ and move forward in this mission of love. He has already spoken to us about what He has for us to do. (See Matthew 10:8)
Maybe He is just waiting on the other side of the thing He has put before you to accomplish in faith before He speaks.
PRAYER: Father, let me not grow weary in the waiting but awaken me for what is before me. Grow my faith in the silence that I may be useful to you when you speak. In Jesus’ name, Amen.