The sermon at church tonight, A Song For Suffering by Dave Stone, reminded me of one I heard two years ago. I wrote a post about it: I Serve a God Who is Silent, because it was applicable to my life at the time. I came home and looked for my post after the service. I’m sharing what I wrote two years ago here today.
I serve a God who is silent. There, I said it out loud for all to read. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with that. Well, I do and I don’t. Let me explain.
Kyle Idleman, the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church, taught a two-part sermon a few weeks ago about the silence of God. The first was entitled Mute: The Silent Treatment. I have been re-listening to those sermons because I often feel like I serve a God who is silent. Do you ever feel this way?
Kyle talked about the Intertestamental Period, the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments. God was silent. I walked away with a question I am still pondering. If God was silent during that time frame, who’s to say He won’t be silent now, in an individual’s life? There are no rules to this, I’m guessing.
This I do know…the silence can be deafening. So we turn up the volume in our lives…we eat, we work, we shop, we read, we watch television, we play games, anything…ANYTHING to keep from hearing the silence.
And I am convinced now more than ever that the reason we do these things in excess isn’t to escape the pain we feel or are afraid of, but to drown out the noise that the silence of God produces.
I do understand that God has already spoken. It is recorded. He need never utter another word. It is finished. But this leads me down another trail of questions. The people who tell us the many wonderful things God is doing in their lives, what God is speaking to them, well, where does that leave those of us who serve a silent God? Where does that leave me? Where does it leave you, mother who just lost your child? Where does that live you who had cancer and deal with the daily pain caused by side effects? Where does that leave you who has a terminally ill spouse? Where does that leave you who are divorced and your family has distanced themselves from you? Where does that leave you, dear friend who has been homeless for a year now? Where?
I talked with a friend who is on the up side of a bad financial trial. She says God is bigger than debt. Yes He is, in her life, right now.
And another friend who assures me that everyone experiences valleys and mountain tops in their lives. I know this is true, but I gotta tell you, I know a lot of people who live in the valley. Good people. Spiritual people.
Where do I go now that I have come face to face with the silence of God? Oh don’t get me wrong, I have experienced His silence before in my life, but acknowledging and accepting it? Well that’s a different story altogether.
The answer is complexly simple. I trust. I trust in this God of silence who has promised to never leave me. I believe in His goodness and love. I’ve learned the lessons, though I am sure there are more. I’ve grown in ways I never intended, because of circumstance I never wanted.
I trust Him without understanding, or affection for the happenstances of life.
Even in the silence.
And perhaps, by some small chance, I suppose, in the silence is when He speaks the loudest, and that’s when it is the most difficult to hear.
Learning to listen even in the silence.