In a European prison cell, the following inscription was found; “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God even when He is silent.”
Sometimes it feels like God is so quiet!
This last week, I had several conversations with God about this particular issue. Yet, it felt like there was complete silence from God. Several of my prayers started with something to the effect of, “I know scripture tells us that you hear us…that you hold each of our tears in your hand…but why does it seem that you aren’t responding!!!” *Insert whining and moaning*
Talk about the quintessential child who knows that the parent is parenting, but the child continues to question the methods!!
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? If I’m honest with myself, questioning the silence of God is a dangerous place. It causes me to question if I’m important to God or if my thoughts and requests are trivial compared to some of the bigger requests that He must receive on a daily basis. It leads to doubt, which leads to fear, which leads to loneliness and a host of other negative emotions.
As I should do often, I turned to the Word. I started at Isaiah 41:10, which tends to be my “go-to” verse when I am in a funk. However, mindless flipping through scripture had me landing on Job 34:29. The NASB version reads, “When He keeps quiet, who can condemn? And when He hides His face, who then can look at Him, That is, regarding both nation and a person?”
Basically, scripture reaffirms that what God does is good. Always. Even when it appears that He is being silent. Who am I to question that? Who am I to condemn the perceived silence?
Interestingly enough, I was sent a note later that day that said, “…often when God seems to be silent, it’s because we are too exhausted to listen.”
Perhaps the silence is an indicator that I’m not listening well. Just like that child questioning the parenting methods…
In some regards, we live in figurative prison cells, which God still works in. Just like that European prison cell and the intuitive inmate who once wrote “I believe in God even when He is silent.”