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Solid Food, Part 2 – When God Is Silent

September 3, 2017

“Christ Asleep During the Tempest” by Eugene Delacroix (c. 1853), Metropolitan Museum of Art, Havemeyer Collection (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

Many have endured God’s silence.

At Genesis 15: 13 God tells Abraham that his descendants will serve in a land not their own and be afflicted for 400 years.  While there is some dispute over the actual length of the Egyptian captivity, we can be sure that the Israelites prayed daily for relief.  Yet generations were born, grew old, and died without a deliverer in sight.

Another 400 years during which God was silent passed between the Old and New Testaments.

At times, God’s silence is a response to sin on our part. God’s silence does not, however, imply His absence.  That is the lesson His silence teaches us.

The process by which our faith is strengthened is painful.  We can hear the anguish in psalms like the following:

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears…” (Ps. 39: 12).

Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head…” (Ps. 83: 1-2).

O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before You. Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave…I am like a man who has no strength, adrift among the dead…Lord, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? …” (Ps. 88: 1-4, 14).

Gradually, we come to recognize that God is always with us, whether we can sense His presence or not.  Even when our faith falls short, He does not abandon us.

Now when He [Jesus] got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. ” (Matt. 8: 23-26).

Faith is as much an act of will as it is a feeling.  On the sea of Galilee, when Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water, the apostle stepped out of the boat and did just that (Matt. 14: 28-29).  Logic would have warned against so perilous an action. Indeed, when Peter saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and began to sink (Matt. 14: 30).

We, too, are invited to step out in faith. Sometimes enthusiasm carries us forward.  Other times we proceed with quaking heart, in the face of God’s silence.  Our role is to seek His guidance, but remain steadfast in our belief, even when in rough seas, uncertain of our course.

In this, we have the tremendous advantage of knowing with absolute certainty that Christ is “a fact and not a belief,” to borrow Quaker Jane’s phrase.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the King of Kings, the Light of the World, and our Redeemer.

Silence on God’s part or not, we should be willing to shout that truth from the rooftops…another thing Paul would consider solid food (Heb. 5: 13-14).

Originally posted 5/15/12

This series will conclude next week with “When the Answer Is ‘No’ “

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

From → Christian, Faith, Religion

7 Comments
  1. ya…it’s quiet odd..sometimes..when you desperately need Christ presence feeling,,yet this is not important,,but we have to shout from roof tops.

  2. What an uplifting post Anna! I love your statement that it is “gradually that we come to recognize that God is always with us,whether we can sense His presence or not”.

    Here is where our faith is forged, in those times when He seems far away,silent, and uninterested in our situations. In His silence we are forced to draw from within from the storehouse of faith we have gradually acquired during our walk with Him. As you say, God is faithful!

    • I’m so glad you liked the post, Ron! I greatly respect your opinion. You’ve captured the intent of the piece beautifully, “Here is where our faith is forged…”

  3. Hey there, enjoyed reading part one and part 2. I really feel that an important aspect of the stuff you have written about is Christians understanding who they are in Christ, being part of community and intentional fellowship. Many have no time for this and miss out on so much I reckon.

    • That’s very perceptive. I think we’ve adopted other priorities. The modern world is demanding and distracting. Time can get away from us. We rarely experience silence in which to hear God’s voice. It is no wonder that He may choose not to speak.

  4. This is a great post. Love this quote: “God’s silence does not, however, imply His absence.”

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