The Silence of God

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My hand sweeps passed the familiar spot. It’s fabric worn thin from repetition, growing softer with age. I trace the piping with my index finger, then my pinky. Reminiscent of times before — when outcomes were different.

Doubt tried to stop me, but my heart won today. I had to ask even if I don’t receive an answer. Even if I hadn’t braved the exposure, I’m certain my heart would have given me up anyway. There’s no hiding what it feels from Him.

I forget how many times I’ve had this seemingly one-sided conversation. How many times I’ve poured out, hoping to be filled up again. With resolution. No matter what form. God, please, I know You hear me. I need to know Your will on this one.

Silence.

This is when the enemy brings out his big guns. When he fires off things like rejection, solitude, insignificance, denial. Ah, but he forgets. Or hopes I have at least. That I’ve been here before and will never forget God has my best interest in mind. That no matter what, His glory will be revealed in His time. Not mine.

Sometimes I wonder, though, if these moments of silence happen because of me. Maybe my intentions were off. Maybe I didn’t hear the word ‘wait’. Or maybe I was asking the wrong question all along.

Regardless. This much I am certain:
I may ache, but I am not broken.
I may feel alone, but I am not abandoned.
I may feel pressed, but I am not crushed.

No matter what — He is holy.
No matter why — He is just.
No matter where — God is good.
No matter when — all the time.

So I wait. I search my heart. I keep seeking His face. I continue the conversation. And believe. It may be quiet, but I am still in the palm of His hand.

And when I don’t hear an answer right away, I think of this song. And take courage. In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God.
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The Silence of God” by Andrew Peterson

It’s enough to drive a man crazy; it’ll break a man’s faith
It’s enough to make him wonder if he’s ever been sane
When he’s bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the heaven’s only answer is the silence of God

It’ll shake a man’s timbers when he loses his heart
When he has to remember what broke him apart
This yoke may be easy, but this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God

And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they’ve got
When they tell you all their troubles have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
‘Cause we all get lost sometimes…

There’s a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He’s kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He’s weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows, He never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that He bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God

Friends, I was going to share this last week and decided not to. But I clearly heard Him on this one. Someone needs to know they’re not alone.

I don’t know why we as Christians don’t talk about the hard times more. We make it seem like having them shows we don’t have enough faith. I’m starting to believe that’s not true. But I’ll save that for another post.

How about you? Have you been in the holy, lonesome echo before? How did it resolve? Are you in it now? How can I pray for you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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36 thoughts on “The Silence of God

  1. We truly are kindred spirits. My prayers are often met with silence, and I am quick to think I don’t matter, like God has more important things to take care of. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that He loves and that He cares!

  2. Oh I’ve been there. Trusting in the darkness is one of the hardest things. But the darkness often leads to healing, as did Paul’s blindness. Praying for you! Thanks for sharing from your heart!

    • So true, Christina. The darkness can often bring healing, can’t it. Why…I don’t ever remember a time in my life that is hasn’t. What a hope to cling to! Thanks for sharing with me, friend.

  3. Niki I loved this post and it goes right along with my prayer request that I shall be emailing to you this week. You are such a blessing to all of us who read your posts and thank you again for including me in your prayers. Blessings to you my friend.
    Joy

    • Joy, I look forward to getting the email so I know how to pray for you. Thank you for helping me pray intentionally! What a joy you have brought to my corner of the world–thank you!
      All for Him,
      Nikki

  4. Nikki,
    I am very grateful for you and will be praying for you as you seek to pray your LIST! This post is beautiful. Your words…just real. But I have walked with Him in darkness…and am learning that He truly redeems to the uttermost, flooding our lives to overflow with light, glorious. Though the dark times come, we will not be overcome because He has overcome for us! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you, prayer – otherwise. In His Grace, Dawn

    • Thrilled you stopped by today, Dawn, thank you! It’s day 2 and I’m enjoying praying through my list so far! Love this idea you had. . .
      Yes, darkness is temporary, isn’t it. For He has overcome! What a promise. and it is often a hidden blessing. One this is always certain: I always grow from the experience. And I’m honored He takes the time to nurture me… Blessings to you, Dawn!

  5. Thank you for sharing “the holy lonesome echo”…I have experienced that, and I am humbled when I think of Jesus on the cross, saying “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He still clung to the Father and I know you are also…God is holding you close and you are encouraging others…praying for you, dear Nikki 🙂

    • Oh, the thought of Jesus being forsaken brings me to tears as of late. I cannot even imagine. For even when I don’t hear Him, I know He’s here for me. He hasn’t let go. And I won’t either. 😉
      Hugs to you, friend! Enjoyed praying for you today!!

  6. Nikki, this is such a wonderful post, one that speaks, as I see from your comments, to many of us. Getting through the darkness is not easy, and can be very discouraging, but we must perservere in our faith, trust and love, because we know that with Him and through Him, we wil be victorious. Many blessings, my friend!

    • It saddens me to know some truly lose their way in these times of darkness. But oh to persevere and strengthen our faith through them…that is what I’m striving for. For He has overcome the darkness, hasn’t He! And I’m determined to join Him on the other side… Hugs to you, friend!

  7. A few weeks ago, I pulled up to the soccer fields to watch a son play, had just hung up with another son on the phone which left me disheartened – and I prayed, “How long, God! How long?” – and He said, “Until he is won. Until he is mine.” So sometimes, we just have to soldier on, in the sometimes silence of faith.

    That song – well, it just wows me, the poetry and truth of it.

    Silence from God to me always means continue on with what you were doing. No big changes now. No new place now.

    My husband and I were talking on the porch during the rain this afternoon because something important is requiring much patience, much waiting – and God keeps dropping encouragement but with not much progress. But, maybe, God wants us to learn how to live in in the wait for now.

    Just because you don’t have an answer, doesn’t mean He isn’t sitting with you. Praying blessing for you sweet friend – and, if not an answer, hoping He gives you encouragement!

    • Someone shared with me “no news is good news, so keep on keeping on.” They might have a point with that one! soldiering on…I can wrap my head around that one.

      Most of Andrew Peterson’s songs wow me. Not just for the poetry of them, but like you said. Such rich truth in them. They’re not glossy and I love that.

      And I am so touched to hear you and your husband lean on each other during these times of waiting. What a blessing! I am humbled and blessed to say I have a spouse who is going through these moments with me, too. And God has not abandoned us. I feel His warm embrace. And I know the wait will be worth it.

      Thank you for sharing with me, friend! You bless me so. (and I’ll be praying for you as you soldier on)

  8. Yes, I often feel the same way.
    I oft feel lonely from my God, which makes me long for heaven all the more.

    Lately God has been bringing these words to me “When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, Upward I look and see Him there, who made and end to all my sin…my sinful soul is counted free…”

    That is something you could pray for me is that I wouldn’t fall into that pit of despair, but cling to my Lord, that He would bring me joy.

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Nikki!

  9. Beautifully expressed – yes, I certainly identify with your thoughts here. And I am in the “waiting room” with some of my requests. Sometimes I tire of sitting there, as you expressed, and I need to be careful to listen to Truth as I wait.

    • It’s a good discipline in listening, isn’t it. Even when we don’t hear an answer from Him, we still need to weed out the noise we do hear. Glad I’m not alone in this one, Cherry. And for letting me know how I can pray for you. Thank you.

  10. I remember reading something Philip Yancey wrote once, that God is “shy” and that we need to continually pursue him even in the silent times. I think this is what you are talking about. It’s scary–that silence–but it doesn’t mean he isn’t there with us. Great thoughts, Nikki!

  11. feeling alone is such a hard place to be…and it does not mean no one is around…you can be in a crowd and feel alone…and it cn happen too in our relationship with god…esp in those times of waiting when our expectations get ahead of us…encouraging post…

  12. We are neighbors today at Emily’s…Nikki…wonderful post…I think everyone has been here…and i love this…you continue to have conversation…not figuring out…how do I get the silence to stop…the why…why.. why… but to say engaged in conversation…it is where relationship keeps going deeper…and sometimes like in a good marriage…the silence becomes more comfortable. blessings to you as you commune in the silence(I looked up commune to make sure I used the right one…def. to partake of the Eucharist. I love that thought.

  13. I feel like God is doing something this week on Imperfect Prose, so many posts with the same theme, of being pressed against and low and hurt and having only God, enough for any circumstance.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  14. Nikki – this is just beautiful…

    “I may ache, but I am not broken.
    I may feel alone, but I am not abandoned.
    I may feel pressed, but I am not crushed.

    No matter what — He is holy.
    No matter why — He is just.
    No matter where — God is good.
    No matter when — all the time.”

    Thank you for sharing. I hope it is OK if I share this with others today, too. 🙂

    ~Becky

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