There has been a resounding theme to the podcasts, devotions, Bible readings, and homilies I’ve been exposed to lately…hearing God in the silence. Over and over from multiple sources I keep hearing/reading that God speaks to us most clearly in a still, small voice, in the silence. Here’s the thing, I KNOW THIS! I have experienced it often and it’s utterly magnificent! But lately, the silence is deafening.
God has been silent recently and the silence is wearing me down. I know what to do. To persevere through it by continuing to pray, spending time with God and receiving the sacraments. But that doesn’t guarantee that God will automatically be vocal again.
Sometimes God is silent to teach us and help us grow spiritually. It can help magnify things about ourselves that need to change. If we allow it, we learn to lean into Him even more BECAUSE He is silent. We learn to place our trust even more in Him. We learn to wait with patience, a virtue. We learn humility by realizing that it’s not our own strength that we get by, but God alone.
I have been struggling this last month with being in silence. I tell myself to listen for God’s voice. I try to quiet the noises in my head, but then things bubble up that I don’t want to hear. See, the devil likes to trick us and tell us lies that aren’t true. For a moment I start to believe him. I pause, recognize it’s him and say a prayer to not believe the lies of the evil one. But the silence is still too much for me to bear.
I have unanswered prayers that each day seem to grow further away and the heartache of it makes me want to shut it out. THIS IS PRECISELY THE MOMENT I AM MEANT TO LEAN INTO IT. Let the pain, the hurt, the confusion of it all just pour out. Give it all to Jesus, because He understands our pain. He died on the cross to bear our pained be one with us. Do you ever have those moments where the flood gates open and the tears flow like a river? You cry, begging God to answer your prayer. Lately my prayers have even gone something like this “God, please just tell me if the answer is no! Just help me to understand so I can let it go!”. Silence. Deafening silence. I wipe my tears and let the pain sit for awhile and feel it.
There is a saying I hear often that I never quite understood until recently… “Offer it up!” It just never made sense to me. Until now. Now I get it. I have to learn to truly offer up my suffering to become more in union with Jesus’ suffering on the cross. We all have our own, different, crosses to bear. I’m getting there, I’m slowly learning to ‘offer it up’ and unite my suffering with Jesus’. I can be a slow learner at times. Thankfully God is patient, especially when I am not. Sometimes, silence is the best answer to my prayer of “Just tell me if the answer is no!” because it’s hope that maybe, just maybe, the answer is “yes, my child. Be patient because the answer is yes, but you aren’t ready yet and I am making a way for you.”
Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Romans 12:12