What do you do when God is silent?
Yes, I think there are times when God is silent. I really don’t think that happens often, but I think it does happen. So let me put in my caveat first and then talk about God’s silence.
You see, most of the time God is not silent. We are just not listening. I wrote about that before. Sometimes we just need to shut up and listen. We go to Him with our problems and dump the load on Him, almost as though we expect Him to jump at our command. In those times, His silence is our own fault.
And sometimes we try to paint God into a corner. He has to solve our problem in a certain way. Anything else would be unacceptable or unrecognized. Maybe healing is what we want, but healing isn’t the only good option. Maybe that new job or new love seems the best to us, but there is a better one out there. By telling God what He must do, we set ourselves up for missing His answer.
But there are those times when we pray in submission and come to Him in quietness and we still hear nothing. In those times we are to wait. Trust that something is happening.
Sometimes children come to their parents in tears, maybe even screaming, and parents are supposed to help. But, in order to help, the child has to stop screaming, stop hyperventilating, and simply calm down. We tell them to “take a deep breath,” and we do nothing until they are ready to receive. There is great value in that deep breath. The world gets crazy. Evil and danger press in, trying to overwhelm us. Yet, it rarely is what we see; and taking a deep breath, pausing to settle our hearts, changes our perspective.
So, when God is silent, take a deep breath. Calm your heart. Yes, there is danger and you are worried. Yes, you are upset. Yes, you feel that you need an answer right away. But you won’t be ready to hear until you settle into the rest He has already given you.
Then you may begin to understand that He has already given you the answer. You haven’t been able to hear Him because you haven’t accepted the answer He has given.
Or you may see that your request is misguided. Not wrong. He knows your heart and your fears. He understands what you ask, but His best is something different.
And maybe you will see that your heart has been wrong. You have forgotten that He is God, wise and strong and wonderful. The best thing that can happen is for you to step back and stop demanding your way.
In all of these, God may simply wait. Your stress and confusion are stopping you from hearing Him or accepting His answer. So He waits for you. In fact, when you don’t hear from Him, ask Him if He is waiting for you.
The point in all of this is that grace allows us to find peace when God is silent. Trust in His love and His power. Trust in His wisdom and authority. Trust that He is able to do what is needed and wise enough to know what is needed. Believe that He hears your prayer and loves you. Then rest.
No, it isn’t easy. The craziness pushes and threatens. But ask Him for peace, even though you don’t yet have your answer or your miracle.
Ask Him to help you rest in Him.