I think it would be safe to assume that the whole world, believing and unbelieving, has asked a question relating to the silence of God. Where is God in war and hurt? Does God always answer when we cry out to Him? Is God too busy to hear? Does He care enough to listen?
Before I write any further, I need to clarify one thing. Asking questions of such a sensitive nature is neither an indication of a weak faith nor is it something to be ashamed about. It took me far too long to realise that the questions I was afraid to ask or think were actually signs that I had the ability to think deeper and that I was not the only person thinking them. Asking the difficult questions within the right frame can strengthen your faith and draw you closer to God.
As a Christian, I’ve found too often that when I ask the question “Why is God silent?” the answer that gets thrown back at me is “Well have you read your bible?” “Have you been praying?” or “Maybe you need to listen better”. Now, as a human, I can always improve on these things. But what happens when you are throwing yourself into the word and worship and you’re met with deeper silence. What happens when you are crying out to God with utmost desperation and you feel lonelier. When day and night, you are sitting in silence and waiting patiently on God and still you hear nothing. What happens then?
Truth be told, I do not have one perfect answer for this question. And the silence of God is always a question that I will continue to fight to find answers for. What I have discovered over the past few years, is that sometimes the silence of God is actually the best thing. It is in the silence that I’ve proven (albeit to myself) that it is God I am choosing and not the miracles and blessings He has to offer. It has been in the silence that the worst of my character flaws has been sharpened away as I refused to accept silence as the norm and hope persevered instead.
Crying out to God is not a sign of weakened faith. We can simply look to David in Psalm 13 and see that even a man after God’s own heart felt this loneliness. But even though David felt as though God had left him, he ends his cry with a reminder to himself that God remains good and His love remains unfailing.
The silence of God is inevitable in our walk with Him. But the silence of God is not an indication of the absence of God. In fact, like any predator in the wild who is at its quietest right before it attacks, the silence of God could indicate just that. We see in Matthew 27:46, Jesus himself crying out to God. From the perspective of man in that moment, the question may have been asked “Where is God when His Son cried out? Why was God silent in the moment Jesus needed Him most?”. Yet, the apostle Matthew goes on to write that just after God’s silence came the greatest victory unknown to humanity at the time. Jesus cried out one final time, still unanswered, and died. In that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, the earth shook and rocks split. God was silent, yes. But His silence was an indication of the imminent victory.
In the silence, choose Him. In the silence, remember Him. Write down His unfailing promise that you are never forsaken. Cry out to Him and prove to yourself that you are choosing God because there is no better alternative. Persevere. Suffer well. Keep hoping.
Because soon the silence will end, and The Voice that will meet you on the other side will bring an incomparable joy and unconditional love.