We are ever discovering who God is. Sometimes He may seem silent when we feel like we most need to hear Him speak.
We might react in feeling abandoned, interpret the sense of void as rejection, or indifference on His part. Feelings influence our sense of interpretation, and schema we develop our world view around. They can be highly effective, or disruptive, and therefore need to be processed through discernment.
One of the reasons I love the written word (scriptures) is that I can go search Him out even when He seems MIA, and be reminded of the truth of who He is even when feelings and thoughts contradict. And I love the rhema word- the “right now” spirit to spirit communication that comes through relationship with Him and gives knowledge and instruction in a moment.
When my brother (in law) died in March I was in utter shock– my expectation was a physical miracle. The shock that accompanied his death carried a sort of numbing quality with it.
In the days that followed, I came to sit in God’s presence. I didn’t have a lot to say, some things seemed futile to ask or say, sometimes I just wept–my words forming in tears and deep sighs. At some point I began to think on how I wasn’t hearing Him say anything to me, yet I knew He was actively present.
Still I took time specifically to come sit in His presence. During one of these times, I suddenly understood–
He was sitting in mine.
He didn’t immediately start filling up the air space with words as we often do in an effort to comfort either ourselves or the one’s whose loss is so deep. Just as for seven days Job’s friends had the sense and wisdom to simply sit with Job in his pain and misery without explanation or instruction, just to be with Job in stillness and presence, HE came and sat in mine.
When we experience a deep sense of loss and pain, He doesn’t fill the air with platitudes, and cliches as people often feel compelled to do. He draws us into His arms and rests his kiss on our heads. Lets us soak in His strength, comfort and healing. He prepares our hearts to be able to listen and receive. He gently ministers the salve and healing oil, so that numbness abates and our hearts can hear.
And when we are able and ready to hear Him speak, then He does. The sensitivity of God makes Him the greatest friend anyone can hope for.
When He begins to speak, He doesn’t always speak to the things we are wanting to know. He speaks to who we are. Identity is something we may begin to forget when we don’t see the kingdom and words of God manifest as we desire and expect to. The rawness of pain and loss can cloud “truth reality” with “experiential factuality,” and so He speaks to our identity and reveals again why we believed as we did to begin with. And He speaks of who He is. Still. Even if…
Sometimes God sits with us in silence. He is not withholding, He is not rejecting or disciplining. He is presenting us with His presence, His person. In tender wisdom, He lets us express ourselves and He listens, holding us close, lending His strength.
I began to realize the wisdom He acted in by sitting with me in silence. Silence is powerful. We are often to tempted to fill it all up with words, especially in Western culture. But it has its own purpose and wisdom. It leads us into stillness. In stillness, we find understanding, and renewal. We begin to know what He knows.
When God seems silent, lean in and see if He is really sitting in your presence, drawing you into His arms, placing his lips on your head, letting you pour out your heart, adding the salve and the oil, readying you to be able to hear. Know He is present, even if you can’t yet perceive Him. By faith, you will.
Be still, and Know,– I Am God. “[j]Cease striving and know that I am God;
God is our refuge and strength,
[b]A very present help in [c]trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the [d]sea;
3 Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. [e]Selah.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her [f]when morning dawns.
10 “[j]Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the [k]nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. NASB