Boy, It's Quiet!

Do you ever feel like the times you're trying your hardest to hear the Lord's voice are the same times that He doesn't seem to have anything to say?  You listen.  You strain.  You pray.  You plead.  You cry.  And the response?  Absolute quiet.  No heavenly mutterings.  No internal urgings (unless you count the indigestion from the pizza you had last night).  No spiritual insights or holy promptings.  Just quiet!  During these times, I truly understand the oxymoron "the silence was deafening."  It is.  It's maddening, especially for someone who doesn't like the quiet.

Don't get me wrong, I don't enjoy noise, but I do enjoy some sound.  While working at home, I almost always have music playing in the background.  Different music for different tasks, but music nonetheless.  In my car, the radio is on.  When out walking or hiking, I'm constantly serenaded by the twittering of birds, chirping of insects and the rustle of the myriad of other critters in the vicinity.  It's not noisy, but neither is it silent.  I like it.

To me, there's nothing more frustrating than talking to someone and getting no response.  Not even a grunt.  Not only is it rude, but it leads to confusion.  Is that person ignoring me on purpose, or are they so engrossed in what they're doing that they truly don't hear me?  Sometimes I'll assume the first when, come to find out, it was the latter.  This creates havoc in a relationship, not to mention feelings of frustration and bitterness.

But as much as that bothers me, silence from the Lord is even more frustrating.  Doesn't He promise that if we call on Him, He will answer us and show us great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3)?  Doesn't He say to ask and we'll receive (Matthew 21:22)?  Doesn't the Bible tell us that if we lack wisdom (direction), we can ask of God and He'll show us which way to go (James 1:5)?  Well, I'm calling, but I don't hear or see any answer.  I'm asking, but I've yet to receive a response.  I'm seeking direction, but I still feel so lost.  Why is God so quiet during the times I most need to hear from Him?

After Jason's birthday celebration on Monday, he went back to work to find a disaster awaiting him.  The equipment was broken.  The schedule was a mess.  Appointment information was missing.  All in all, it made for a miserable day.  Unfortunately, the next day wasn't any better.  It absolutely broke my heart to see him so frustrated and fatigued.  We've been praying that the Lord would open the door to another job for him, but so far, all doors have remained firmly shut.  Most days, it's easy to accept those closed doors because I know God is working all things for our good.  But on days like Tuesday and Wednesday, when Jason seems so fragile and close to the breaking point, I can't find any peace with those closed doors.  Instead, I go to the throne room, once again, and plead with God to do something.  The result?  Silence!

As I read my devotions this morning, I was reminded of Samuel who cried out, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth," and I began to cry.  "I'm listening, Lord, but I can't hear anything!"  I waited for an answer, but none came.  So, I came to my office and sat down at my desk to do my blogs.  As I sat staring at the blinking cursor, I had no idea what to write.  I waited.  I prayed.  I thought.  And there was still silence.  Then I knew what today's post needed to be, and it was a lesson for me!

There will be times in this Christian walk when it seems like God is a million miles away.  During those times, our prayers don't seem to reach the ceiling, and our faith flickers like a candle in the wind.  It's dark, lonely and confusing, and because of that, it's easy to forget everything we know about God.  We forget that He's loving and that He's watching out for us.  We forget that He has everything under control.  We forget that He isn't cruel or vindictive.  And above all, we forget that He is faithful.

David did. . . off and on.  Don't believe me?  Read through the Psalms.  Wow, what a roller coaster ride!  But David was close enough to the Lord that even in the midst of his pity parties, something clicked within him and reminded him of God's love and promises.  Take, for example, his tantrum in Psalm 6.  Things are bad.  People are out to get him.  He's upset.  He's cried more tears than he can count.  But notice how he turns things around in verses 8 and 9:   Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.

Those "workers of iniquity" could have been people or even evil spirits.  They could have been negative thoughts and attitudes or possibly all those voices echoing in his head, "God doesn't love you.  Look how He treats you!"  David say, "Go away!  God has heard the voice of my weeping.  He has heard my supplication."  And notice this:  "He will receive my prayer."

I may not have God's answer yet, but that doesn't mean that He hasn't heard.  It doesn't imply that He doesn't care.  He has heard my cry, my weeping and my petition, and while I'm waiting for an answer, I can trust that He's still working. . . even in the quiet!

If you'd like to hear more about David's ups and downs through the Psalms, I believe you would enjoy my audio series, Moodswing Mania, a 6-CD set.  Join David as he journeys through the good times and the bad, and discover how he conquered his moodswings and discouragement.  You can purchase the series here: