We show up. We carve out the time (time which, incidentally, He saw fit to give us), turn off the phone, computer and television, make arrangements not to be disturbed, settle in with a clear mind and an open heart and a passion to hear from Him, and … silence.
We wonder where He is. I mean, we’re here. We’re seeking Him. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? So, we wait.
And still, nothing.
So eventually we get up and get on with the business of living, without having experienced fireworks in our prayer time; without even hearing that whisper we know to be His voice.
Please realize, dear believer, that this is not a spiritual crisis. It’s a day, an hour, or a moment – one of many come and gone. No more, no less. (It’s important to clarify that the silence I am referring to is different from hearing nothing but “noise” in your head (clutter from daily life, etc.) and it’s not the same as having a spiritual block due to sin. It’s simply silence.)
Here’s the truth of it: we cannot control God!
Having a hissy fit won’t do it. Fighting that silence, begging for God to “show up,” struggling against the reality that He is not meeting us in our chosen moment … all these are useless. Worse, such activity makes it nearly impossible to hear Him when He tries to start a conversation with us.
When this happens in my prayer time, as it did on a prayer and meditation day I recently took, I know in every cell of my being that my God is still with me. And I know that He loves me unconditionally, no matter how often I disappoint Him. No, God has not forsaken me. He is simply choosing not to speak, not to show Himself in that special, powerful way He sometimes chooses to.
I wrote the following in my journal that day, and I want to share it with you with the hope that it will encourage you (and be a reminder to me as well):
“Today, He is demonstrating His power, His sovereignty, His authority. And because I love God, I also love what He is (not) doing today. I love this display of Who He is, this reminder that I’m not God – He is.
As a woman who tries to follow Christ and who tries to surrender to God daily, I must be willing to walk the path He put me on with trust and faith, with confidence in who He is and in my relationship with Him, even when He is quiet. So, I am at peace, even in the silence.
I will continue to show up, continue to call on Him, continue to make space for this precious time. And I will do so knowing that He will show up again and fill my spirit in that way only He can and does…and He will do it in His time, as He chooses. When He does, I will, as I always do, bask in His glory, dance with Him, sing with Him, walk with Him and talk with Him, knowing that every moment fades away, going sometimes with joyous praise and sometimes with peaceful silence.
Then I will wait for the next moment – wait and be watchful, wait and listen for that whisper that says, ‘Come, My child … I want to make Myself more fully known to you.’ For I know that moment will come. I will choose not to be disappointed or frustrated; only to be accepting of what God chooses to do or not to do. For He is great and good and just and will not be controlled. I am His child. And because He is the best Father ever – the perfect Father, He will shine His brilliant, warm, loving smile on me again and it will ever be a balm to my spirit.”
And so, I will cherish even His silence.