Monday, August 20, 2007

Deafening Silence

Life is dark and heaven is silent. I keep going to God, telling him that this is hardly the time to play hide-and-seek with me. The silence is palpable. The silence is defeaning.
I keep looking to Scripture...where do I go for something like this? Who in the Bible felt abandoned by God? On more than one occasion, King David felt it. And yet he knew, despite what he was feeling, that he was never out of God's sight (Psalm 139:7, 9-12). I am not alone. God is relentlessly faithful. So how do I convince my panicked heart of that? I read something that said I need to enter the silence with Him. What does that look like?
My first step is to be so comfortable with God that intimacy comes without the necessity of words. And so I spend part of my day sitting before the throne of the God of the universe. I'm scared. I beg to feel His presence. I sit. I cry...a lot. I continue to do this until I am flooded with enough peace to make it through another day. I wait for God to fill every molecule of space around me.
Obviously God is testing me. How much will I trust Him...even when He is silent? It's really easy when He is "holding on to the back of my bike as I peddle." But what happens when He lets go and I have to ride alone? Will I remember all that I have learned? Throughout the summer, some things have come to light about what I was trusting in more that I was trusting in Him. Now that those have been exposed, laid bare, and confessed, I am attempting the hard task of building commitment and perseverance.
Jesus told His disciples to be unwavering: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me" (John 14:11). Every day, I am called to continue trusting- spend another 24 hours job searching, chasing a puppy, reading again...believing that He has everything under control. Even when He is silent.
Finances are getting really tight. I say that as though I have money at all. I really don't. I am so in debt to my parents it's unreal. I really ned a job so I can pay the bills. And it's looking pretty scary. So I cling to the verse in Matthew 6: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear...look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (25, 26) I have to trust that God is still working even though I cannot hear His voice. I have to trust that He is building my character and working to make me more effective for His Kingdom.
One thing I have learned through this summer is that it's ok to be honest with matter how brutal that honesty is. I always thought it was disrespectful, like it is unheard of to say such things to God. But really...He knows what I am thinking anyway, so why not go ahead and open up the conversation and tell Him? It's better than the alternative: stopping talking to Him altogether.
I have also learned how much I need other people. I have always tried to be so strong for other people. I thought it was some sort of spiritual weakness on my part to do otherwise. It's weird because I don't view it that way when other people come to me broken and weary. That's part of me always being that much harder on myself. I have definitely reached a point where I have asked others to trust God enough for me. I have asked others to have hope until I get mine back. And I cling to Psalm 119:50: "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."
I know that sometime in the future I will look back at this time and think how stupid I was to have missed "it." There will come a day when it will all click and I will recognize in retrospect how much God was working, shaping me even when He seemed far away. There will be a day when I come out the other side knowing with FULL confidence that I am not alone, that God longs for deeper intimacy with me, and that He is worth trusting for the journey. I am praying for that day to come soon.

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