Silence is scary, especially when it comes to God.
Have I done something wrong? Am I not trying hard enough? Is there a point I’m missing?
Silence is scary, but it’s not as lonely as you might believe. Everyone experiences it, and most likely, there are people around you right now who are walking through it just like you.
Today’s post comes from Johannah Riemenschneider from her blog @johannahruth on BlogLovin.com. She talks about silence, what it means, and what to do with it:
“I’ve made up my mind; I’m never going back.”
Let’s talk about when God feels silent or still in our lives.
A dry season, a desert season — whatever you want to call it, if you’re a Christian, you’re familiar with it.
There are two reoccurring theories I’ve heard regarding God’s silence:
The first is that it’s a wake-up call of sorts for us to acknowledge and take care of existing sin in our lives. A dry season may mean that we need to reexamine our hearts, confess, repent, and restart.
The second theory is that dry seasons aren’t meant to deliver messages of condemnation or conviction, but that they’re God setting aside intentional time for our spiritual rest and meditation.
Personally, I don’t think that either of these are wrong, but I also don’t think that we should generalize dry seasons or try to come up with just one explanation. Instead, I think that the idea of dry seasons is a lot broader than what I’ve seen others believe. Every believer has a separate walk with God, therefore the causes for their seasons are different.
But in any case, there is one thing that I have noticed is a consistent pattern in these times of silence from God, and that’s what I want to talk about today. Here are some illustrations:
My personal dry seasons are sometimes a result of leaning on my own understanding and abilities, and His stillness is His waiting for me to realize where I’ve lost sight of Him. I then have to make the decision to lean on Him once again, putting my trust in His strength and ability.
(Is it too obvious that I’m a seasoned expert in that? Yikes.)
Examine my heart, confess, repent, restart.
However, I have also experienced dry seasons that are a result of God working behind the curtain in my life — His dwelling in the stillness and in the waiting, working in the preparation so that the coming revelation can be perfected in His timing. During that time, I have to make the decision to wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14), and trust that He will fulfill His promises and complete His plans for my life (Psalm 138:8; Philippians 1:6).
Did the italics make the common denominator obvious enough? Let’s take it back to 1992:
Love is a verb.
If we have given our lives to God (Who is love, by the way – isn’t that crazy?), that means that the relationship that is shared between ourselves and God requires an active pursuit on both ends. If we have truly denounced religion and adopted relationship with God, then we should apply the practices of a healthy relationship, right?
If someone you live or talk to on a daily basis suddenly cut off all communication, wouldn’t you seek them out and try to understand the reason for their silence?
Why then would you not do the same thing when God is silent?
I’m not saying that He will answer every time you ask of His intentions. Sometimes, He will leave us unanswered, and it’s expected and desired by Him that we trust and obey. I am saying that you don’t have to be afraid to take action and initiative when it comes to your relationship with the Father.
He wants to be pursued by you.
I encourage you that when you feel a distance between yourself and the Lord that you can’t exactly describe, other than you just don’t feel Him anymore; or when your hands won’t readily raise in worship like they have before when you couldn’t physically contain your praise; or when your brain won’t stop thinking about chicken nuggets instead of focusing on the passionate message being delivered to you about the Almighty God of the universe . . .
When you find yourself in the midst of a desert in your relationship with the Father, take courage, and then take action. In God’s eyes, you are not a bother. You are a son, you are a daughter. You are welcomed at His throne.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable
to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one
who in every respect has been tempted as we
are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence
draw near to the throne of grace, that we may
receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
– Hebrews 4:12, 13 (ESV)
Tell Him that you can’t feel Him. Talk to Him about how heavy your hands feel in worship, and that your heart is heavier still. Tell Him about the chicken nuggets that haunt you during church service.
Prayer often carries this connotation of a tone of monotony and a required complexity. But can I just encourage you that if You say, “God, I love You with all my heart, but for the life of me I could not stop thinking about chicken nuggets during worship this morning. Even when that guitar riff intro to my worship jam dropped, my arms went up but my heart was not in it. . .” that is absolutely a prayer, and it reaches His ears and His heart just as much as praying a Psalm does.
I’d like to say that was an exaggeration, but the truth is that there is like a 98% chance that somebody, somewhere, has at one point in time struggled with this, and I will not shame them. (#realtalk)
“I’ve made up my mind; I’m never going back.”
These lyrics have encouraged me recently when I knew I was in the middle of one of these desert seasons. It was a way that I declared to the Lord, “You’re silent, you’re still, and I’m confused; but I refuse to let this shake my trust in Your love for me, or my trust in You, and I’ll chase after You more now than ever before.”
Take courage. Take action. Talk to God in total honesty. You won’t be turned away.”
Author: Johannah Riemenschneider