When God Is Silent

The Silence of God

It is one of the harder things to experience, having to wait on God when He is silent. I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately, the silence of God. In those silent seasons we often face doubts and confusion, mixed with plenty of questions. Did I do something wrong? Have I sinned? Did I hear God wrong the last time?

There are seasons when my these questions keep popping up in my inbox. I am comforted by this, for clearly I am not the only one experiencing those silent seasons. At the same time, my heart hurts with these people, wearied down by questions and unanswered prayers. Why is God silent? What can I do to make Him speak to me again?

Though I have thought about this lately, I have no answers to these questions. Yet I have started thinking, have started to understand — that maybe what I need is not answers. Maybe what I need, is a change of perspective.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

It seems like life truly happens in seasons, just like the preacher in Ecclesiastes put so beautifully. It also seems like every fall, I am aware of how life thrums on inevitably in seasons, one season blending into the next and suddenly, you realize you are in the midst of a new season. This change and the realization of it, can come with joy — or with great sorrow. Just as painful are the relentless seasons that seem to go on. What is true of seasons, though, is that they will eventually end and a new one will come.

It is our human nature, that always craves for more. I see it in my own life, in my own heart. I also see it in the lives of others. God performs a miracle, with a beautiful answer to those prayers that have worn our knees and wrenched our hearts dry of tears. Yet, a season later, be it months or years — we ask for more. When we are again in the season of waiting on God, it seems to break our hearts. Murmuring echoes loud in the hollows of our heart, with grief unexplainable.

How often we pray for something, for a miracle even. We endure the long seasons of heartbreak, as we wait on God. We know God is teaching us patience; yet we feel weary down to the bone. Then, the answer comes. The miracle comes — and we are surprised by joy. We fall on our knees, thanking God and praising Him — until one day, we do not anymore.

It seems like the praise and thanksgiving, like everything else, tend to come in seasons in our lives.

“A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:3-4)

As I am in a season of learning to change my perspective, I see that this is something that I can, maybe, view differently. What if the silence of God is not something to break our hearts over? What if the silence of God — is actually a beautiful thing, this season of growth that happens secretly, naturally, miraculously in our hearts.

Oswald Chambers wrote about this in the most beautiful way: “Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response? You will find that God has trusted you in the most intimate way possible, with an absolute silence, not of despair, but of pleasure, because He saw that you could stand a bigger revelation.”

What if the silence of God — is not a deafening silence, the type that comes and destroys? What if this silence, is there with the purpose of creating something new, something beautiful?

“A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that the contagion of His stillness gets into you and you become perfectly confident — “I know God has heard me.” His silence is the proof that He has. As long as you have the idea that God will bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of silence.” (Oswald Chambers)

Knowing myself, I think there will be confusion, possibly even doubt, the next time God falls silent. But then, I will choose to see it as the beginning of something great. It will be the beginning of God creating something greater in me.

Linking up: #UNITE Link Up#MomentsofHope Link-UpModest Monday

  • Ronja, This is beautiful. I'm often struck by the thoughts that I'm not looking at a situation or person or hurt with the right perspective and it usually means I should turn my preconceived notion on its ear! How different everything looks through a lens of God's love ever extended, always gracious to us, and how over time, our hearts begin to feel that way too. Sending love to you! xoxo

    • Ronja

      Thank you, Valerie! It is so interesting how often I find myself in situations and realize my mind is already made up or I always look at a thing in a certain way and won't maybe. I'm so thankful that God keeps reminding me how I need to change my mind and my attitude about things above all. I surely need to be reminded! Thank you for taking the time to comment here, friend. May the Lord bless you abundantly!

  • heather

    So true. Those times of silence hurt but I think they are the biggest testers/refiners of our faith - if we are deliberate about drawing near to God instead of drifting away in despair or anger. And I think you are so right that all we can do when we can't change our circumstances is change our perspective. We can't make God speed up but we can slow down and learn to sit with Him in the quiet and wait on Him and learn to trust Him more deeply. Blessings to you!

  • Irene

    This post -- God's silence -- resonated with me, Ronja. I've experienced it many times in the past, currently experiencing it now in many aspects of my life. And I must say His moments of silence can be difficult to come by. And yet, looking back at the many prayers He answered with a "yes," as well as the many prayers He responded with a "no," I've come to learn that in those silent moments God is actually planting seeds. Seeds that, if we cling to Him in those moments when He seemed so distant, will refine our faith and lead us to a much closer relationship with Him. Thank you for sharing so openly, Ronja. God bless and may the Lord's peace be with you! ❤️

    • Ronja

      Thank you, Irene! I'm glad that you have a good perspective on God's silence -- and that you have truly learned from your past. It is a beautiful way of looking at God's silences, to see it as God planting seeds. He will keep watering those and beautiful things will eventually grow. God bless you!

  • Gretchen Fleming

    Sure have been there, experiencing silence, feeling the loss of intimacy even with God. It was profound, coming after a season of growth. Confusion, darkness, distance are words that remind me of that time. The more I studied and read, the more I learned that it was very normal. Some people referred to it as “dark night of the soul” or a stripping, sifting, pruning..... Oswald Chambers was helpful as well as “Streams in the Desert”. Many of the classics referenced it so that helped to know some of the heroes of the faith experienced it too. Like you said, wasn’t about sin on my part but my sanctification, a precious opportunity God was giving me to mature in my faith. Difficult season but oh so fruitful in hindsight 👍

    • Ronja

      It surely can be so confusing, going from one season to another -- especially going from a season of growth into a season of silence. Yet we can see these seasons of silence even in Psalms, so surely they are something believers go through. It is difficult, yes, but great things will come out of it, like you said. God bless you!

  • Wings of Faith

    Hi Ronja! I really loved this post. As I am also much in the waiting season and many times felt God is silent but the beauty of this season is we meet Him and know Him deeply in this season. Thanks for sharing this beautiful message. Many blessings to you!

    • Ronja

      Thank you so much! Waiting seasons can be so hard, especially if they go on for a long time. But even in there, God will be with us and we get to grow closer to Him. Thank you for stopping by here and taking the time to comment! God bless you!