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939. Embracing God’s Silence

Learn how God’s silence can be an expression of His love for you.

 IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

wildernessWe’ve all experienced those times and even seasons when God’s silence is deafening. We have found ourselves in a spiritual wilderness, surrounded by barren wasteland, lost, with no signs of life. We can almost smell the death that seems to be the only thing that thrives in the seemingly God-forsaken place we find ourselves. We have lost everything, and life seems pointless. We hesitate to take the next step for fear that things will get worse, if that’s even possible.

If you can relate to this, welcome to the silence—the silence that tests our faith, our sanity, and our confidence in whatever has kept us going previously. Whatever we went through before was bearable. We fought our way through the pain and the doubts, but God was there, carrying us through it. We emerged victoriously, and our faith was strengthened… or so we thought. This time is different. All the rules have changed.

Promises you held to before seem empty now. What once was, has become nothingness. Regardless of the specific situation you’re facing, there seem to be no good options. You are convinced thatwhy God anywhere would be better than this. You cry out to God, and all you get is silence. You scream, “Why God? What have I done to deserve this? I’ve tried my best to serve you, and this is what I get? Thanks a lot.” Still more silence.

Suddenly, you’re faced with a decision. Will I chose to advance through whatever this is, or will I give up and let life, or death, or whatever this is just take its course? Will I keep seeking God, even in the silence, or is it not worth the effort? Will I keep seeking when I see nothing, or will I take the easy way out and give up? When you arrive at the place where you know you’ve got nothing left, when all has been stripped away and God is all that’s left, you stop asking, questioning, and doubting. God is still silent, but from somewhere deep within you a thought emerges, breaking through the confusion and capturing your attention. Am I enough?

silence speaksYou can’t help but wonder where it came from, you or God? It seemed like it was from God, yet it seemed as though His silence had not yet been broken. That’s when you get it, when you begin to see what God is doing. He is speaking through His silence. The question haunts you. You’ve considered it before, but that was then, this is now. That was when you always had a way out, something you could count on, something to fall back on. Now all that seems so distant, so meaningless, and so powerless.

Now It’s just you and God…nothing else. No backup plan. No reserve account. Nothing but you and your God who has been silent through your entire ordeal. You are left with one thought, one question that will determine the course your life will take from this moment forward. When all else is gone, is God enough?

The thought scares you. Part of you is still holding onto the things you love, the things that gave meaning to your life. Yet, part of you knows that if you have God, you have everything. After all, He created everything; He controls everything; and you have read that He has given all things to His children. Still, the thought scares you, but why? There is only one reason. Regardless of what you claim, you really don’t trust Him. You’re afraid that what He chooses for you won’t be to your liking.

Frustrated, you force you mind off of yourself and your miserable situation. Every time you focus on yourself, the pain and hopelessness increases. Everything you’ve done and thought has beenhopeless counter-productive. Finally, you focus your attention on God Himself. Not on the answers you were hoping for, or what words of wisdom He may provide, but God Himself. Nothing else has worked, so you choose to embrace the silence and let the Holy Spirit direct your thoughts where they need to be.

I will never leave youQuietly but steadily, promises from God’s word wash through your mind, purifying the misconceptions that had taken root and sent you into the abyss of doubt and fear. You are reminded that God promised never to leave you or forsake you. Had God ever failed to keep a promise before? Never. You know that would be impossible. That meant only one thing. God had been and still was with you. He had been walking with you through it all. He is still there with you.God is there

With the realization that you are not alone comes a ray of hope and a startling revelation about your God. The silence of His voice does not indicate the absence of His presence. With this understanding comes even more hope. If God is for me, who can be against me? For the first time in your life, you begin to experience the presence of God. Before, you had acknowledged His existence. He was somewhere, probably in heaven, and the relationship you claimed to have with Him was like a long-distance on and off again love affair.

cross eyeThis is different. The more you realize He is actually there, the more real He becomes. You can feel His gentle hand leading you somewhere. Still, the silence continues.cross Christ 1 He stops and you are face to face, gazing into His eyes. You see the reflection of something. You wipe your eyes and see His Son on the cross, crushed by the sins of the world… including yours. An unimaginable horror had just become reality. The pure and sinless Son of God had become sin, your sin, so that you could be where you were at that moment—in the presence of the Living God.

Your mind is a welter of thoughts and insight, but you know you must keep gazing into your Father’s eyes. You are whisked back in time to the moment that changed history forever. Now you hear your Savior crying out, “My God My God, why have you forsaken Me?” At that moment, you know you are on the verge of another revelation. You take a deep breath and pause to prepare your mind. The Son of God had cried out to the Father, and the Father was silent. No answer. No explanation. No words of comfort. Silence.

The latest revelation begins to unfold, taking you ever deeper in your understanding of what really happen on that hill 2,000 years ago. Because of God’s silence at the cross, God will never holy groundbe absent in your times of silence. You stop to let this wonderful truth sink in. When Christ died, sin died. Your sin. The barrier between you and God was removed. The veil that prevented you from entering into the Holy of Holies and the very presence of God had been torn apart. Suddenly, your entire situation is transformed. Instead of being in the wilderness, you realize that you are standing on holy ground.

Finally, you see the purpose of the silence. Your Father wanted you to seek Him with all your heart, refusing to stop until you found Him. He loved you so much that He was jealous of all the things that had captured your attention and your devotion. He wanted you… all of you. He had to destroy all the idols in your life so He could have your undivided affection. A wilderness of silence was the only way. Once everything else had been stripped away, you were ready to see Him as He is—the Father who loves you and desperately wants you to love Him.

You remember Jesus’ command to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and He will take care of all your needs. In an instant, your hope is renewed. You finally get it. Our Lord wants us to seek God is LoveHim and love Him with all our hearts. He will handle our situation and lead us out of our wilderness. He’s telling us, “I’ve got this, just keep seeking Me.” Finally, you understand that His silence was an act of His limitless love for you.

rain in desertA gentle rain begins to fall, blanketing the dry and parched land with welcomed relief. You look to the heavens with your arms outstretched. You want all of what God is showering on you, closing your eyes, allowing your tears to be swept away.  You bask in the coolness that has settled over the once parched and fractured ground.

You’re not sure how long you had been standing there when you open your eyes and behold the transformation all around you. Death has given way to life. The once desert bloombrown and parched landscape is now dotted with bursts of brilliant color, springing from clusters of bright green foliage. Life had been there all along, waiting for the touch of God, who had also been there all along… in the pain…and most of all, in the silence.

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