There are times when it seems the Lord is nowhere to be found. Our prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling and bouncing back. We feel far from God—like we have entirely lost our way. Every Christian goes through these “dark nights of the soul” when the Lord seems to be silent. If you are experiencing this, you are not alone. Jesus understands how you feel. He cried out in anguish, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” Even Jesus knew His Father’s silence. Sometimes we fail to hear God speak to us because we are not paying attention. But at other times we really are listening, but somehow we can no longer sense Him speaking. His silence may occur when He is poised to do His deepest work in our life. We should not fear God’s silence, because it really is a reminder that we need Him so desperately. When He is silent and life seems dark, it often motivates us to place our full trust in Him. We pay more attention when we are lost in the woods! God may be building His character in us so that we can be more effective. In the darkness of God’s silence, we are reminded of what we are missing. Bible teacher Bob Mumford once said, “I do not trust anyone unless he walks with a limp.” He was referring to Jacob, who during a time of great trial in his life, wrestled with God, demanding His blessing. He was touched in his thigh and did in fact receive the Lord’s blessing. But from that day on, he walked with a limp (see Gen. 32:22-32). When God lovingly deals with us in the difficult times, we walk with a spiritual limp for the rest of our lives.