I’ve had evenings when I dread placing my head on my pillow. Another restless night full of worries and fears awaits. The midnight silence only emphasizes my loneliness, so I fill my mouth with desperate prayers and pore over scripture hoping the act of reading will cause at least a little bit of peace and sleepiness.
Yet it seems God is nowhere to be found.
Are my prayers simply being catalogued on my shelves of journals? Are my words simply rising up into the universe to simply float for eternity, never reaching the ears of God? Or perhaps he hears, but he does not care about my insignificant existence.
Why is God so silent in my darkest hours?
We recently celebrated Christmas, and something the Christmas story can tell us is how God speaks to his people.
When the Word became flesh, it was done in very ordinary ways. God has no ego that needs to compete with earthly kings. He was not the king they were looking for, and many people would rather look elsewhere for the voice of God than a manger.
So, I believe God is not silent. God is always speaking, but many times God is either saying something we do not want to hear or he is speaking in a way we do not expect.
What are some things God is saying in those “silent times?
- Wait. On those sleepless nights when we are confronted with the dark, hollow places of our soul, we want immediate resolution. All of our wells are dry, and there is no rain in sight. So, we want all confusion answered, knots untangled, and our happily-ever-after to begin immediately. But this probably isn’t going to happen. At least not yet. We are all a part of a fallen world, and all of creation is moving toward resolution. However, our lives will always have pieces missing until Christ returns. God is wise, and his timing is better than ours. Some things will not be resolved, and you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes God is simply asking us to wait for his resolution in his timing.
- Be still. Being patient and waiting requires us to come to a point where we quit our anxious striving for satisfaction and love. We must be still. We busily try to fix those broken places in our lives with our own wisdom. Christ tells us that his yoke is easy and burden is light. He gives an invitation to all who are weary and heavy laden with the tireless pursuit to satisfy the deepest cravings of their hearts to come and be still. He invites us to stop our tireless grasping for that which does not satisfy and drink from the well of living water. Sometimes God removes every well from our lives forcing us to be still and turn to him to slake our thirst.
- Trust Him. Where you are is no accident. I feel like God drags my soul through the hollow, dark, and lonely places of my heart over and over again. But this is not an accident. It is not the result of a tired, sloppy, or careless God. Jesus said that the path to life is narrow and hard and there are few who find it. Following Him is at times difficult and lonely. But our God who leads us into these wildernesses will also lead us through them. He is a good and caring God who does all things for the ultimate, sanctifying good of his children.
God is not silent, he is simply asking us to trust him. I have found that I demand answers while God invites trust. I want the mysteries of the universe explained while Jesus simply invites me to rest in him and follow where he leads. I will never understand the mysteries hidden in the mind of an infinite God, and I cannot force him to speak and act on my terms. But why would I want that if all he does is wise, good, and for my benefit?