There have been times in my life as a believer that I felt alone. I felt that God wasn’t speaking, and no one really understood what I was facing. I would sit by myself and pray; cry out to the Lord to speak clearly to me, to give me a sign, or tell me in a dream because I didn’t understand or recognize his voice in my life.
But it seemed that no matter what I did, He remained quiet. He was like a parent with a child having a temper tantrum who stands strong, looking on, and saying, “Are you finished?”
I put out the question on Facebook: What do you do when you feel that God is silent in your life? I’ve been a Christian long enough to know the easy answers – Pray. Wait upon the Lord. Read your bible. I wanted to know more, something deeper, something that I could do to make the communication go smoother – as if I could do that myself. I had hoped that people would have some revolutionary idea that would trigger one of those “AHA!” moments. But that didn’t really happen. What did happen was mostly routine and expected.
- Talk to friends who have been in the valley.
- Be still and know that he is God.
- Cry out and pray, pray, pray.
- Realize that there must be others with greater needs.
- Lean on Him.
- When God is silent, it’s usually when I am on my own agenda.
- More comments about prayer.
- More comments about reading my bible.
- And more comments about being silent.
But as I looked upon the responses I began to see a few points of clarity. The reason for the consistent answers (routine and expected) is because God remains the same, but we are the ones who change. It is often our own actions that cause the perception of silence.
The comments such as “Continue to obey His last orders until new ones come in,” and, “Continue walking down the path He has us on trusting He will clearly give a new direction when it is time to turn the corner,” and, “What if God isn’t being silent. What if He was speaking and you aren’t recognizing it as being the Lord! Just a thought!” and finally, “When God is silent, follow His lead…shhh.”
My mind is always on the go. There is always something being considered, dreamt up, planned, and, yes, even criticized. I needed to quiet my mind. Reflect on what was happening.
Exodus 13 speaks of Moses and the Journey into the Wilderness. The Lord could have lead Moses and the people on a direct route, but in order to get to their destination in a safe manner, He needed to take them the long way and cause Moses to demonstrate faith. They walk as they were led, only knowing step by step without any sight of the long-term actions.
When they encounter the Red Sea, Moses feels stuck and cries out to the Lord. God’s response is great…”Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” Ex. 14:15 NLT. In the moment, just when it was needed, God gave direction to Moses and told him what to do next help lead his people.
I realized that I was having a Moses moment. I needed to stop crying out to God to show me the big plans…and simply do what I was told and trust that He would make a way. As was said earlier – “Continue walking down the path He has us on trusting He will clearly give a new direction when it is time to turn the corner.”
Sometimes I still feel like a little child. I need to do what I am told. Father God, Abba Father, will care for his children and guide them as needed when they place their faith and trust in him, just as a child does with their own parent.
I know that I have a purpose and that this journey helps shape my story. A story that isn’t always as I would have written it. But everyone has a story. And the plot twists vary in each tale. Are you allowing the Lord to guide your story?