Tuesday, July 5, 2016

When God is (not) silent

Do you ever feel like God isn't listening?  

Lately I've been taking notice more than ever when people share how God has spoken to them through prayer- to give assurance of a path, to guide them in a new direction, to give hope or solace.  I wonder, "How do they know God's voice?" I have prayed, prayed so often, so long, so sincerely and have felt that on so many of my deepest questions and laments God is silent.  I long to hear a word of assurance, to feel led in a direction- (really I'd like God to send an angel down here to tell me His plan in person...)  Yet, despite my most earnest pleas, God has remained silent...  Or... has He?  If I reflect honestly enough, I realize (or am shown) that while God may not give me clear signs when I pray, "Show me the path and I will follow," He does reveal Himself to me in quiet ways- not in thunder (as I wish!) but in a whisper.  

Over the past few weeks I've been laboring over decisions concerning whether we should continue the same treatment, whether we should change treatment plans, whether we should discontinue treatment and focus on adoption, or whether we should give up on our hopes to be parents, sell all of our belongings and live as vagabond world explorers.  If only I knew what God intends for us, I could feel comforted in knowing we are doing the right thing.  If only money for adoption would magically appear.  If only someone would approach us to adopt a child.  If only I knew whether I could even actually get pregnant.  If only a clear direction would manifest.  Instead, I am left wondering if every step we take is leading us closer to or further from what God's will for our lives is.     

My most faithful friends always say, "Take your prayers to God," knowing this is our only recourse on some matters.  And I've rebelled thinking, "But!  Why does God make me pray 1,000 more than other people!?" ...And suddenly the question repeats itself back to me only not of my thought...  "Why does God make me pray 1,000 more than other people?"  And suddenly I realize God is asking me to contemplate this question, to reflect on my prayer- to recognize that He is calling me to pray more for a reason, and to seek what He is trying to reveal through it all.  

And you know what else God reminded me of?  He is never silent because He left us Scripture!  I've come to desire it more now than ever.  I've come to realize this week that in His silence, He has been leading me to seek Him in new ways- to read Scripture with a different mindset, to practice patience, to learn to listen, to prepare myself for letting go.  It is possible that if God seems silent for you, too, He wants you to ask, "Why does God make me pray more than others for the desires of my heart?" and to seek the answer.  In His silence, He has been teaching me to look for Him everywhere, not just in praying the same prayer for the 1,000th time- to the point that even at its most genuine it has lost a part of its authenticity.  So for now, I will not ask, nor will I despair.  I will open the Bible, receive the words within, and I'll continue waiting.

Has God spoken to you in clear ways?  How have you been confident in knowing His will for your life?  

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."  -St. Jerome