Silent but Not Still

God’s silence. Undoubtedly, we have all been there. We have cried out to God in the midst of our suffering, pleading with Him to act and move on our behalf. We pray. We wait. We pray some more. Yet all we get is silence from heaven. Our cries and tears seem but a waste of time and energy and emotion as God ceases to intervene in our situation.

When our prayers go unanswered our human tendency is to doubt and question God. “Where are you, God?” “Why don’t you do something to stop the pain?” Surely as the sovereign God of the universe, for whom nothing is impossible, He can act and move in our situation. So why does He not answer our prayer? Why the delay to respond to our cries and tears?

When God is silent to our prayers, let us consider that the issue is not His unwillingness to intervene. Rather, God does intervene, and more than we know. He just doesn’t intervene at the times we wish He would or in the ways we think He should. So though silent, God is not still.

Here are some examples from Scripture:

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Is. 30:18)

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. (Is. 64:4)

21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lam. 3:21-25)

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. (Ps. 37:5-7a)

While we wait, God is at work. In the waiting, He desires to show Himself gracious and merciful and loving. And though we can’t see what He is doing, we can be assured that He is working and acting on our behalf, and always for our good. As the well-known verse in Scripture tells us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). And just prior to this verse we read of the Spirit’s help in our prayers: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26-27).

God hears your prayers and cries. Wait on God and trust Him in His gracious, merciful and loving silence. He may be silent, but He is not still!

In God’s divine love,

Peggy

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