When we are really honest, most of us admit there are times we feel God is distant. An internationally known Christian leader confided in me this week he felt he had lost his way, slipping into a deep pit of depression. Every man or woman of God goes through these “dark nights of the soul” when the Lord seems to be silent.
What should you do when you no longer sense Him speaking? This may be a time when He is doing His deepest work in your life. He may be getting your attention so you stop and listen and receive His grace that goes to the core of your being.
His silence is a reminder of how desperately you need Him
Do not fear God’s silence, because it is a reminder that you need Him desperately. When He is silent and life seems dark, it can motivate you to place your full trust in Him. We pay more attention when we are lost in the woods!
Bob Mumford once said, “I do not trust anyone unless he walks with a limp.” I agree. Jacob, during a time of great trial, after wrestling with the Lord, was touched in his thigh. But from that day on, he walked with a limp. When God lovingly deals with us in the difficult times, we walk with a spiritual limp for the rest of our lives.
When God is silent, it doesn’t mean that He is absent.
King David at times felt abandoned by God. Yet despite the silence, David knew he was never out of God’s sight. “Where can I go from your Spirit: Where can I fall from your presence?…If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast… (Psalm 139:7, 9-12).
The Lord is more concerned about what He is doing in you than about you reaching your spiritual goals. Oswald Chambers once said, “God is not working toward a particular finish—His purpose is the process itself.” He is the God of the process, even in His silence.
Printed in Kairos magazine, Nov-Dec 2004