Faith, Grace, Hope, Spiritual Growth

In the Silence

Silence.

As a single mom of three teenagers, the thought of a few moments of silence is only a dream. Cries of, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” “Mom, can we leave yet?” “Mom, can my friend come over?” “Mom, where are you?” seem to permeate every moment of every day.

What I would do to have just a few minutes of silence…

But when the silence is from God?

It is deafening. Painful. Overwhelming. I cry out for Him, to hear His voice, to experience His presence. I struggle and strive against the silence, craving His sweet whispers to get me through my day. I can’t understand why I can’t hear His voice in the midst of this journey, a journey that has taken so many twists and turns that just when I think I am going to make it, there’s another slap in the face.

Yes, that’s the story of my life right now.

This journey started over eight years ago with God calling me to step out of my comfort zone, telling me He was with me and wanted to build a great faith in me. That moment has given me strength and confidence to move forward, to constantly strive to hold his outstretched hand.

And He has been so faithful. Through divorce and death and sickness and poverty. Through loss and infidelity and rebellion. He has been my constant.

I have experienced the incredible high of hearing my Savior’s sweet whispers day by day, leading me into a deeper faith. I’ve seen him take my pain, my misery, and create a ministry greater than anything I could ever imagine. I’ve had such an amazing, intimate experience with my Savior.

Until He went silent.

O God, do not be silent! Do not be deaf.  Do not be quiet, O God. Psalm 83:1

I can’t even start to explain God’s ways. I do not grasp why He chooses to act in certain ways. I do not understand why sometimes we have to experience His silence.

What I do know is that even in the silence we must learn to trust Him. We must trust that He is still at work, somewhere preparing our future. We must trust that even when we can’t sense His presence, He still has not left us nor forsaken us.

Sometimes God is silent because there is sin in our lives. Throughout scripture, we see that our sin separates us from God, from His holiness. We know that our prayers can be hindered, that we can limit the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And that is why we must strive to live lives of holiness, why we must regularly confess our sins and repent. We do not want God to be silent because we are clinging to sin in our lives.

But, I also believe sometimes we experience the silence of God to test us, to see if we will continue to walk forward in faith when it seems that our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Is our faith strong enough to sustain us in the silence? Can we cling to the God we met in the times of intimacy? Will we trust Him even when He is silent?

That’s where I have found myself for the last two years. Living on the faith that was built in the days of His intimacy. Struggling to move forward even when I felt abandoned. Reaching to grasp His hand even when it seemed to be a moving target. Crying out to Him, begging to hear His voice.

And yet, through this silence, I have found an even greater depth to my faith. I’ve continued to move forward, following the last command He gave me. I’ve seen Him provide little nuggets, just enough for me to know what to do next. It’s been a day by day provision of manna.

The silence has been painful.

But, this weekend I began to get a glimpse of the amazing work God has been doing during this period of silence. It was as if a veil was rolled back, and I suddenly began to see clearly. I am beginning to grasp the most amazing vision of what God has been doing in the silence.

And it is good. Very good.

For two years, He has been silent. For two years. He has been working to answer my prayers. For two years, He has been preparing my future. For two years, He has been behind the scenes working circumstances for my good and His glory.

That’s my encouragement to you. I believe I am on the edge of the end of the silence. I believe I am about to break through and see the work God has been doing in the silence. I believe I am about to experience an outpouring of His goodness and grace. I believe I am embarking on a new journey of intimacy with the Father.

But I had to walk through the silence to get there.

Maybe that’s where you are. Maybe you are crying out to God, struggling to understand why He seems silent. Maybe you are wondering what sin is keeping Him from you.

Perhaps this is just a holy pause in your life, one designed to see if you will continue to trust Him and obey Him even when it seems He has abandoned you. Maybe it is actually an opportunity to experience an increased faith in Him. Maybe it is simply a time where He is working silently in the background to prepare the future He has for you.

He will eventually roll away the veil and open your eyes. You will experience His goodness and His grace in abundant measure. Just keep reaching for that outstretched hand.

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “In the Silence”

  1. Wow Dena, two years is certainly a long time of silence. Thank you for your transparency. What an amazing testament of faithfulness. It is an encouragement to me.

  2. Dena:

    I so needed to hear this post today as I find myself in the silence. I spoke to God this morning and said I that I envision myself alone in a center circle surrounded by mist. I am circling to see a way out, but I cannot. I look for God and can’t see him, even though I know He is in the midst. Two years huh, that’s a long time. So encouraged by your continued faithfulness and honesty in what you are feeling. Blessings to you and your family.

    1. He is there, and I promise He is working. You may not see it today, or tomorrow, or even next week. But somewhere, He is working. Just keep trusting, walking with Him. And one day, the veil will be pulled away and you will see the work He has been doing…even in the silence.

  3. What a beautiful letter of encouragement! I will be saving this post as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and the need to trust. And wait. And pray. Blessings to you, and I hope you do start to hear God’s voice again, even more strongly and clearly than before.

  4. Thank you for your posts, your vulnerability and transparency. My own story is not too far removed from your own. Your words bring such profound wisdom and deep comfort to so very many.

  5. I read one time where the Teacher always requires silence during a test. In my own personal experience I have found that God has never been silent; I was just listening to the wrong voice. Trusting my relationship with God has never been easy since I have never felt worthy of the love He has shown. Once I grasped the reality that He loves me; me a nobody then I have sailed with Him ever since. His word says He will never leave us or forsake us. NEVER! And that means NEVER!

  6. Thank you for sharing this intimate moment of your life. There are several times I’ve asked God why he silent and not answering prayers. This past month, esp the past few weeks, I’ve witnessed the presence of God. God’s presence is a sweet fragrance of both joy and peace. I’ve learned thru this experience it wasn’t HIM who was silent but me who wasn’t listening. I realized I still had my hands in the cookie jar when I said I wanted him to take control. When I realized I needed to take my hands off and let him do his work, I felt tearful joy, a joy I can’t explain.

    1. Roy, it has been so fun to watch God work in your life. Thank you for being my friend, for being the hands and feet of Christ in so many ways…even when I did not see it. Thank you for continuing to fight for me. Thank you for being you!

  7. Dena, Thank you for giving voice to times of suffering in our lives. So many try to deny, fix, overlook, or ignore the pain that we each may be going through. When someone acknowledges our pain it brings a sigh of relief knowing one is understood…not judged for times of suffering! Thank You again for giving a voice to the times where God is silent!

  8. Wow! Dena, thanks for your vulnerability and raw truth. My friend sent this to me and as I was reading it I thought, I could be writing this post. I so appreciate your encouragement! Will keep this close to me to remind me often of my future hope.

  9. What do you mean when you say God is silent? I have ups and downs in my walk, but His word is alive and the Bible is always His words to us. I’m just trying to understand what you are saying. He promises to never leave us and so is always with us. Yes, my feelings may come and go and sometimes He “feels” closer than at other times. Maybe it is that you have experienced an even closer walk with Him, so now it feels more silent.

    1. I went through a period in my life where God was SO incredibly active…and then it seemed as if He simply disappeared. Went quiet. Quit working. But I have continued to move forward, continued to trust. And now, I am beginning to see that He was not still. He was simply working in the background to prepare circumstances to make the future He has for me. Even when He seems quiet, we can be assured that He is not still.

  10. Good morning from a very cold Cape Town, South Africa!
    I wanna give God the glory for allowing me to cross paths with you. I do relate to you on so many levels, also divorced, also 3 teenage sons…..I firmly believe that God is using you to penetrate my heart and my mind….for I am also waiting on God….now I believe I understand so much more why He is quiet. I need to re-connect with my Father so that I can hear His voice. Thank you Lord!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s