When God is Silent

silent

Have you ever cried out to God only to be met by silence? You don’t get any answers, you don’t feel peace, and the only sound you hear is your own sobbing as your heart breaks.

Maybe you’ve even wondered, “Where are you, God? Don’t you care about me? Don’t you see what’s happening?”

I once asked God those very words. (For those of you who know me, you’ve probably heard this story. What can I say? I’m still learning from it.)

Years ago, I had questions for God, life-altering questions, so I went in our backyard to get away from everyone and everything. I needed silence. I needed to hear God in that silence.

Only God didn’t answer me. So I asked Him to let me see a butterfly if He cared about me. Just a glimpse, Lord. I looked all around our yard, in the trees that surrounded me, and in the grass. No butterfly.

I felt as if something inside of me had completely broken.

Days went by and I was so discouraged and deeply depressed. No one could help or offer any comfort. This was between God and me. And how I saw it during that painful silence, God let me down.

At that time, I had a job cleaning the church we attended. I grabbed my cleaning supplies and started on the outside of the glass doors. I noticed a moth trapped in a spider’s web on the door frame and did my best to rescue it from that monster. (What can I say? I really don’t like spiders.)

But when I finally pulled the moth free, I realized it wasn’t a moth at all: On my fingertip, I felt the gentle “pop” of a newborn, monarch butterfly’s wings as they opened for the first time; the dark, ginger-colored wings were still wet.

I held that butterfly for a long time. Watching in awe as it opened and closed its wings to dry them.

In that moment, God spoke so lovingly, so perfectly to my heart that I won’t ever forget it. He was telling me in a very real, very tangible way that He does hear me, He sees me when I cry, and He loves me enough to teach me the hard lessons.

The hard lesson of waiting on God. The hard lesson that sometimes He is silent.

Perhaps you’re there today, waiting on God, asking for an answer, and you’re being met by His silence.

My dear friend, please understand that God loves you more than you and I can possibly understand. You see, He is preparing you and teaching you to trust Him. He’s growing your faith in Him.

Just like the butterfly needs the struggle of emerging from the chrysalis in order to strengthen its wings so it can fly, we need the struggle to strengthen our faith so we learn to trust God more deeply as we walk closer to Him.

And when we walk closer to God, we learn the difference between His silence when we’ve disobeyed Him and sinned and need to repent, and when He is using the silence to teach us.

So if you’re hurting today and there is silence at the end of your prayer, don’t stop seeking God’s truth. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything, any sin that is keeping you from a closer walk with God.

And if you find silence at the end of that request as well, then remember God’s silence can be a temporary tool that teaches you about your loving Heavenly Father who never leaves you.

Even when He is silently holding you.

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5b NLT.)

 

 

12 thoughts on “When God is Silent

  1. Thank you dear Joey for these encouraging words – yesterday driving home from a very uplifting church service, I was pulled over for speeding – not just a few kilometers over the speed limit but 40 – as I waited for the officer to reach my car – I was trembling in my seat – after rolling down the window, his question to me was, “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t impound your car immediately . . . ” – tears flowed down my cheeks as all I could muster/offer up was, “I was just coming home from church and I am a good Christian women” – He then asked for my drivers licence and walked away – he left me trembling in my car for 15 minutes during which time I prayed to feel the loving arms of Christ envelop me but did not and I also prayed for a lenient penalty for my sin – that 15 minutes of my life were the longest ever – when the officer returned to my car he said, “God is looking out for you today – I’m just giving you a ticket” – such a big sigh of relief – He was there with me – sometimes in our trembling we are unable to feel His presence – but He truly is even if we annot feel it/Him – this ticket really served as a reminder that I need to slow down and be present – not drifting into auto pilot or ahead into the present – a very humbled Debra – love and blessings xo

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    1. Oh, Debra, thank you for sharing your story! And what a powerful one it is to remind us that God is with us in our trembling. I’ve had that type of warning (among others) to slow down, and I think God sometimes allows us to go through those trembling, tear-filled moments to wake us up…His way of protecting us. I was once pulled over for speeding on my way to work and the officer let me sit in my truck for a good long while…I was crying because I was so embarrassed that I was driving that way. (I was REALLY speeding.) He told me if I hit a deer doing that speed, it wasn’t going to just be the deer that got hurt. I never forgot that. And to this day, I think that was God’s way of slowing me down to protect me and to teach me. God may be silent, but He is always with us, always teaching us! And we may have to face the consequences when we step out of line, but He’s still right there with us, using the moment to expand on the lesson. I’m so glad you didn’t get a ticket but even happier that you felt Him with you! Be safe, my dear friend!! Love and blessings to you always. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! And I’m sure you’ll hear Him even more beautifully because it will be a personal, tailor-made answer just for your heart. What a loving Father we have! Blessings to you my dear Sister.

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