Are you there God?
Silence. Sometimes what causes us the most pain and confusion isn’t what God says to us, but the fact that in the midst of a difficult situation, God seems to say nothing at all. What do we do when God is silent?
I went through a heartbreaking situation several years ago that left me on the floor in tatters. My eyes were swollen and red from days of tears splashing down my cheeks.
These are the moments when you lay on the ground like a pile of dirty laundry and you cry out to God for help, for comfort, and for answers.
The sun rose and set day after day and I began to question God. Where was he? Did he hear me?
WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER ME?
Where is your treasure?
The pain that I was in became all-consuming. The situation that I was facing was as deep as the ocean and I was being consumed by the roaring waves. Hurt and heartbreak were my two faithful companions that went with me everywhere.
I could not work without them. They were with me in my bed in the night season. We shared every meal together. Nothing else mattered, they had become my treasure. For the worth that you place on something in your life is evident by your priorities.
But Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. God was silent because my treasure was in the problem and not the provision.
I had a heart problem.
God’s silence is how it feels, but that doesn’t mean that is how it is.
Be on guard of the enemy during these times
The enemy will come to you in these times when you are spiritually dry and empty and he will whisper lies to you. And, like a moth to a flame, sometimes we lean in to him and allow him to plant seeds of doubt.
Know that your enemy will always try and defeat you when you are weak. He is a liar and the father of all lies. We must learn to protect ourselves with our spiritual armor for those times when he lingers near. (Read “5 Lies From Satan You Must Stop Believing” for more about this subject.)
Some of the greatest victories can come from those times when we are spiritually dry and empty. (If you are spiritually dry, order my new book, Abundant Rain, a 40-day devotional devoted to overcoming the dry places.)
It may feel like he is absent, but he is there, working in the background, making all things work together for your good. (Romans 8:28).
Deep calls to deep
Perhaps God is silent because he wants to teach us something about faith and trust. We want our problems to be solved and our questions answered right now; because we live in a society of “right now”.
Think about it, any information that you need, any questions you need answered can be done in seconds. But God is not Google and his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
What I learned from my situation is that God was calling me deeper; he saw me crying out to him from the shore, but he wanted me to come out upon the water where feet may fail but he won’t let me drown.
The deep things of God were calling out to the deep things inside of me. (Psalm 42:7).
The answer isn’t always obvious
I did not hear an audible voice answering the questions that I had for God about this situation, but that doesn’t mean that he was not speaking to me. As I began to shift my focus from the way things were to the Way Maker, I realized that his answers were coming to me in unique ways:
- Scriptures that spoke to my situation
- Worship music that lifted my heavy heart
- Friends who were there to encourage me
Not all of God’s riches are obvious. Some are buried below the surface and can only be discovered as we dig and search for the buried treasure.
Nothing is wasted
Little by little, day by day, God began to slowly bring me out of the broken place. I was able to come to him with arms open wide and soak up his love for me. I learned that much can be said in the silence. My job was to obey his command to be still and know that he is God and I am not. (Psalm 46:10).
Looking back now at that difficult time in my life, I see the abundant blessings that I received from the Lord. There were many lessons learned and most importantly, I grew exponentially in my faith and in my relationship with him.
I say all of this to encourage you, especially if you, too, are going through a time of brokenness and you feel like your prayers aren’t being answered and that God is silent.
There are two choices to make. We can pitch our tent in the campground of bitterness, pain, and callousness, or we can build an altar on the holy ground of his presence and watch, wait, worship, and pray until the answers come.
If you are in a broken place, I encourage you to read my YouVersion devotional, “Broken to Blessed” and I pray it is a helpful weapon in your arsenal as you fight this battle you are facing.
I pray you go deeper than you have ever been and know that although everything seems dark right now, the Light of the World is there with you every step of the way guiding you to victory.