“When He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was” -John 11:6
Oswald Chambers nails it! He captures the truths of the Lord SO well. I’ve been learning from him for many years. I’ve heard so many people express their frustration with God because He is seemingly choosing to “sit this one out” and “even now, is leaving the world to wallow in its struggles”. Nope. God is as involved as He can be in our world today. Please read Oswald’s words below and I’ll comment afterwards:
“Has God trusted you with His silence— a silence that has great meaning? God’s silences are actually His answers. Just think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything comparable to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking Him for a visible answer? God will give you the very blessings you ask if you refuse to go any further without them, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself. Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response? When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. If God has given you a silence, then praise Him— He is bringing you into the mainstream of His purposes. The actual evidence of the answer in time is simply a matter of God’s sovereignty. Time is nothing to God. For a while you may have said, “I asked God to give me bread, but He gave me a stone instead” (see Matthew 7:9). He did not give you a stone, and today you find that He gave you the “bread of life” (John 6:35).
A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that His stillness is contagious— it gets into you, causing you to become perfectly confident so that you can honestly say, “I know that God has heard me.” His silence is the very proof that He has. As long as you have the idea that God will always bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of His silence. If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, then He will give you the first sign of His intimacy— silence.”
Wow. Such truth. No doubt, the electronic world we live in skews our perception of silence. If we have any question about anything, Siri is a question away from answering us. We expect immediate understanding and immediate answers which all feed our insatiable “need” for control and the fueling of our pride.
Silence and pride do not mix well. Sure, we could tape our mouths shut but even then our soul would spew out comments and distractions away from the peace of Christ. “I have to share my opinions and perspectives on just about everything- I have the right!” Yes, it’s our right and it’s also our downfall. Silence means I’m willing to trust and confide in the One who knows all. It doesn’t have to make sense to my heart to be true. And it doesn’t mean I live in a cave somewhere by myself. We all need community. It’s how we’re built. But I do want to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19).
Listening quickly means I’m quiet quickly. I have so much to learn and so much to hear. There will always be a lot to say, but a lot more to hear. No where does that show up more than our prayer life. Am I always asking for stuff, treating God like Santa Clause? Or am I listening as well to His instruction and comfort for me?
May we all be worthy of God’s trust to keep us in silence. May we trust His timing and sovereignty to be able to wait. It means we must give it over again and again and again. Let Him be the faithful God He is in your circumstance. He’s got this even when it appears out of control.
Rest in His peace…
…and His silence.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©