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.”
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.”
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.