‘I cry out to You, O God, but You do not answer.’ Job 30:20 NIV
Do you feel like God isn’t answering your prayers? Job the patriarch felt the same way: ‘I cry out to You, O God, but You do not answer; I stand up, but You merely look at me… When I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.’ (Job 30:20; 26 NIV) All of us go through times when it feels like God has moved and left no forwarding address. What’s He up to? Why doesn’t He respond? There are some lessons you only learn when God is silent:
(1) Silence isn’t absence. An old proverb says, ‘Speech is silver, silence is gold!’ Sometimes God says to you, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10 NIV) You have to be really secure with somebody to just sit quietly with them. Silence takes the emphasis off words and builds a level of intimacy where they’re no longer necessary. If you want to be comfortable with God, learn to enter into meditation and silence with Him.
(2) Silence tests your faith. How much faith is actually involved when somebody’s coaching your every step? It’s like a parent running alongside a child who’s learning to ride a bike. Right now, the child lacks confidence, but they’re going to look strange at age twenty if that parent is still trotting along beside them! At some point God takes His hands off the wheel to see how far you’ve progressed. And for a while it can be a wobbly ride. That’s when you demonstrate how far you’ve come, and where you’re placing your trust.