All of us have been there. God are you listening to me? Is this thing on? Why am I here? HELLO?! ….. and silence.
I’ve learned a few things in my journey with God on this topic. Is he always speaking? Yes. Is he always speaking about what I want him to talk about? No.
My daughter has a habit of asking the same question literally 100 times in a row, even if I’ve already answered. It usually goes something like this: “Can I watch Elsa?” “no”. “Mom… I want watch Elsa” “no, not right now” “Can I watch Elsa?” “it’s still a no and if you ask me again I’m not going to answer you anymore. We’re done talking about it.” “But I want to watch Elsa…” “(promised silence)”. At this point she either just gets louder or decides to do the smart thing and avoid time out by changing the subject.
This can be a bit of a ridiculous example but I know I’ve probably sounded this way to God on numerous occasions. I can remember so many times in my life when things didn’t happen the way I wanted or simply didn’t happen at all. Often I’ve been left in confusion or frustration asking God things like “why?” or trying to make my circumstance somehow fit into my understanding of what God should have or could have done. I know many of us could have genuine pain around things that matter greatly to us where we feel like God was silent. This is not invalid and God is not afraid of our pain or emotion. I would encourage you to take it to him in honesty; he can handle it. (Sometimes you may even need to let go of offense toward God. Not because he did the wrong thing but for the sake of your own heart). If you’re someone who is just going through a hard time and simply at the 10 mile mark in a 26 mile marathon… just keep running. When we’re in the middle of the season we might as well grow! Don’t allow hard things to be wasted by becoming bitter at God or other people when there are great lessons inside times like that. Things like perseverance, humility, trust, character, patience. There are things we learn in a valley that we need, but could never learn on a mountaintop.
A few suggestions when you find yourself in a silent season:
1. Go back to the last thing God said on the topic, if he’s not saying anything else, chances are the word hasn’t changed and it’s time to turn up the trust. (even if you really…really want it to change… which is often why we feel God is silent.)
2. “Why?” is often the wrong question, and is often impossible to demand. Instead try “What do you want me to do now?”
3. Maybe we have been coming to God constantly with the same topic and instead we could ask God what he is wanting us to turn our focus towards.
4. If we feel that we are not hearing his voice in general, about anything, there’s a really good chance that we haven’t learned to recognize his voice or perhaps there is a blockage in our ability to hear him. (things like unforgiveness, shame, lack of belief that God is actually good etc)