“When he had heard therefore that he [Lazarus] was sick, He abode two days in the same place where he was.” John 11:6
“Has God trusted you with silence–a silence that is big with meaning?” This is the first question I faced in my devotional time this morning, taken from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. Chambers went on to talk about the silences in our lives when we go to God in prayer. We’ve all experienced them; times when we wondered if God heard us, and tried to figure out why we hadn’t heard from him. Chambers asks you to consider this: That the reason why you haven’t heard from God at this time might be because he trusts you with silence.
We all know people who constantly need to be reassured. They struggle with security issues and need that external validation that says I’m okay, you’re okay. When we first began our journey with God, we needed it too. The scars this world had left on our hearts made it necessary for God to continually reassure us. We needed daily reminders of His affection and that he remained close by, just in case we needed him. Our relationship resembled that of a newly married couple, who can’t wait to say those three little words to each other, “I love you!” That, they think, is love.
Ask any couple that has been together twenty years or more, though, and you’ll find a different perspective on love. After twenty years, love no longer hangs on outward expressions of affection, but exists more in that sure and steady confidence that your guy will still be by your side in the morning. He’s not going anywhere. While there may be stormy seas and battered shores to deal with throughout the marriage, loving couples go through them together.
After twenty years, there isn’t that urgent need to fill every empty space with words. For the long timers, love lingers in the silence. And so it is with our God. We trust Him because he has proven himself trustworthy again, and again, and again. We don’t need another hug or to hear those words to know how He feels. We just know.
Today, if you are hearing silence in response to your prayers, don’t be discouraged. Be encouraged. God is still there. He still loves you. More than that, He trusts you to still love him. Even when He’s silent.