Many times we get stuck thinking God has grown silent. Maybe what’s really happened is we haven’t yet figured out how to discern His voice from the noise of the world. Sometimes, I even find God’s silence to be most satisfying response.
LISTENING TO SILENCE
When I pray, I know God is listening. I don’t always feel a response, but I can feel His presence listening and paying close attention to me and my heart. For many of us, silence can be uncomfortable or disconcerting, and so the silence of God can feel like an unneeded burden: We don’t want His silence, we want His answer. But God created silence just as He created the music of life. What’s helps us today is learning to hear His voice despite the world, and that isn’t always easy to do.
THE BEAUTY OF SILENCE
In my teens, the silence of outside during the late nights or early mornings would sometimes cause a deep depression inside. The quiet would make me feel lonely, and that feeling was unbearable. That was my perspective at a time when I was bent backwards with trauma, but silence doesn’t always have to lead to anxiety. Sometimes, silence is the peace between the waves crashing on the ocean shore. Sometimes, silence is the breeze coming through the window on a beautiful spring day. And sometimes, silence is the ecstasy of getting lost in the loving gaze of someone special. In so many instances, silence is not always connotative to something unpleasant or melancholy. With God, this is also the case. Silence is one of the most beautiful, ravishing ways the Lord communicates through to us. If we’re too busy paying attention to all the noise in the world, we might miss this precious treasure coming straight from the heart of God, Himself.
TRUSTING OUR CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD
Prayer is the communication between us and God. God is the parent constantly promising us He will not let us fall no matter what happens, reminding us to constantly keep our eyes on Him. To put this into perspective, we must ask ourselves: As often as God communicates with us, are we actively listening? Do we only initiate conversation when something is feeling wrong in our life? When God responds, are we able to accept what He offers, or do we treat His answers like an 8-Ball—shaking the conversation when we don’t like what we hear? When we hear what we don’t like and we stall to wait for a “better” response, the reality is we’re only waiting for our own acceptance of His answer. We probably don’t always realize this, but it’s true. It’s much easier to believe giving God some time will change His response to something more convenient. That is delusional, of course—and it will keep us standing still in life.
Something we fight tooth and nail for, more often than we care to admit, is the way we claim we trust in God without following through with what He says. The longer we take to trust in God, the longer it takes to develop an unshakable faith in our hearts. When we practice listening, we practice blocking out the noise of the world by trusting God. When we trust in God, lives change.
Sometimes we feel too humiliated to admit our desperation to hear God speak, and at times, we become so frustrated by the noise of life that we find it easier to believe there isn’t really a God speaking at all.
I empathize with people who feel this way because I still feel it, sometimes. It’s very difficult to be open-minded about God when the world seems to be growing faster in corruption and slower in patience. Furthermore, witnessing the reality of corruption makes it seem trickier to hear God’s voice. Even so, we can’t blame God for not being loud enough if we are unwilling to slow down and try to hear His voice more clearly. We cannot expect the world to become what we, ourselves, are unwilling to learn.
SOLACE IN SILENCE
Silence is a beautiful way for us to hear from God, but it isn’t the only way. My hope is that you will find solace in understanding how effectively and powerfully God speaks through silence, as well as through people who pursue Jesus with their hearts. I also hope you will consider the way you listen for His voice, and make room in the areas of your life where you could try harder. God is always speaking, and perhaps with a little more commitment to giving God room to be heard, we could make the best of what He wants us to hear. May it be so, in Jesus’s name.
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