One of the biggest challenges I had when moving to Sokoto State for my NYSC was adjusting to the silence. Not the silence of the city, but rather the silence that comes from me being quiet- me being alone. My friends know me to be a talkative. I talk almost all the time. And yes! I try to make sense when I talk. How was I now to adapt to this new phase of my life? How was I to go on with my daily activities to utter silence? Yeah! There are times I shut myself to the noise of this world and go into meditation. But this doesn’t happen all the time.
In chapter 28 of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, for those of you have read the book, I was drawn to the silence Michael Hosea experienced when asking God if he released Angel to Him (God), would he ever get her back. Now Michael was a good man who fell in love with a bad woman (prostitute) and each time he tries to prove his genuine love to her, she hurts him, leaving him with a scar in his heart.
This, of course, would not be the first time Michael would have to let her go. The difference now is that she has fallen in love with him. They have known the joy of the true marriage relationship. His love has been reciprocated but God’s silence was his nightmare. Why wouldn’t God speak to him in the midst of his pain? There are several things we must remember about God’s silence in our lives.
*Silence does not mean absence. The Book of Esther is a great example of God at work, but no words. The name of God is not mentioned, but the reality of His presence is everywhere.
*Silence may bring much needed solitude. (BE STILL) Have you sat at a table waiting for someone to SAY SOMETHING? There can be intimidation in moments of silence. However, when you are comfortable enough with someone that no words have to be shared, the relationship has shifted to intimacy. Not necessarily sex! But a comfort level that speaks without words. God's silence is as much a sign of God's presence as of God's absence. That divine silence is not a vacuum to be filled, but a mystery to be entered into.
*Silence tests our trust. (BE STILL AND KNOW) Do you know people who seem to always "have a Word from God"? First of all, I watch out for those people. Second of all, it shows their inability to trust when there is no voice. Although I realize God is at work, the moments of silence must eventually bring me to a place that I can say, "I don't hear you, but I know you are there." There are a few persons I communicate with on BB almost every day and the days I don’t hear from them doesn’t mean they are not there. You get?
Our seasons of tests and trials have taught us, very simply, to take off the training wheels and ride. At first, we knew God was close by with arms opened wide to catch us if we fall. It is not that He is not close by anymore. He is! Now we must trust the experience of learning to ride and His ever near presence. To take it a step further, we are actually riding a tandem bike and He is in front doing the peddling and the steering!
In the world we live in, it is easy to allow background noise to mask the beauty of silence. Our senses can get dulled to the symphony God has created just for us. The television, blackberry, ipod, internet, and other useful gadgets can even obscure our ability to hear God. I realize there are times when God seems silent, but it is also possible God's voice may be speaking, but is lost in the crowd of other voices and stuff that invade our busy lives.
I read the story recently of a man who lost his valuable watch in an ice house. His co-workers carefully searched the ice house with him looking for the watch. They looked everywhere, but they couldn't find it. A little boy heard about their search. During his lunch hour he slipped into the ice house and emerged with the watch. All of the men were stunned and said, "How did you find it?" The boy replied, " Well I simply went to the icehouse, closed the door, laid down quietly on the floor, and then I began to listen. After a while, I could hear the tick, tick, tick of the watch." Maybe we need to go in, lay down on the floor, be very quiet, and begin to listen.
In the words of my friend Daniel Addo (http://danaddo.blogspot.com) “God speaks LOUDEST in word”
Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
Have ever been in a situation when all you hear is God’s silence? And you are like mehn “I just need a word from God”
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