The Word of God is living and active, right? It’s sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing bone and marrow, right? We love the Word and invite its entry into our hearts and heads. But what happens when God doesn’t speak to us through His Word? What happens when God is silent?
When we come to Christ, we are babies. We have to learn how to eat, sleep, walk and talk all over again. Just like any good parent, God will be very near to us for a while. He wants us to trust Him and we need to learn how to do that. He wants us to listen to Him. We have to learn how to recognize and heed His voice. He wants us to understand that He is our Provider. We are accustomed to providing for ourselves, so this takes some getting used to. He wants us to know that He is our Rescuer. We are accustomed to being all alone, with no rescue in sight, so this one takes some time, too. But over time, as we grow more comfortable in our newfound faith, as our legs get stronger and our minds sharper, God begins to back away. He never, ever isolates us. He will never leave us, but He will be silent for a while. Why would He do this? God wants us to trust Him, even when we can’t see, feel or hear Him speak.
The Word is the primary way God speaks to us. We see this most every time we open it. It’s full of instruction and wisdom, but more than that, it’s full of life. It speaks to every piece of our lives, our thoughts, our feelings and our desires. It FEEDS us! It is the way our minds and hearts are renewed. Without it, we will most definitely drift from the Lord. So, we learn to love the Word and hold it tightly.
Have you ever been in a spot where you couldn’t hear from God? When it seemed like all the lights went out and everything just goes black? Not only is this a lonely place to be, it’s scary! I remember losing my mom in a store when I was little. I frantically walked the aisles until I found her. I went through scenario after scenario in my mind of what could have happened. “She forgot me. She’s hurt. I won’t remember where the car is parked.” And then it really ratcheted up: “What if somebody else takes me???” None of these scenarios came true because my mom loved me. In reality, I was only separated for less than a minute. If I had really been lost she would have been yelling my name and anxiously searching. Mom knew right where I was.
God doesn’t leave or lose us. When He’s silent it’s not because we’ve been misplaced by Him. The goal for kids is always to grow up. We were never meant to stay babies, toddlers, 5-year-olds or 3rd graders. The plan is always for us to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. For that to happen, we have to learn what it looks like for us to respond to a dark world without God holding our hand. We have to venture out on our own a little. Faith becomes real when we face a terribly dark problem and God doesn’t immediately solve it for us. Will we trust Him in the dark? Can we trust Him when He is silent?
The answer has and will always be a resounding “Yes!”
If the Bible is the primary way God speaks to us and if there are times when He is silent, what do we do with the Word? We keep reading it! We plant our feet and heart right square in the middle of God’s faithful voice and keep reading. We memorize, meditate on it and pray it back to Him. We believe it and trust its promises. We listen to its counsel and act on its commands. When we feel as though God is silent, we trust His heart. He will never lie to or hurt us. The odds are, He’s on the very next aisle, just waiting on us to round the corner.
If you are in a silent period right now, don’t give up. Don’t put the Book down. Don’t stop acting in faith. Talk to somebody. Don’t crawl into a cocoon. Don’t you grow silent, too! God’s timing is always perfect and remember, He sees a picture you and I could never see. His silence is planned and purposeful.
God will speak. He always does. He will never leave us in the dark.