hy does it seem that God is sometimes silent? Sometimes when we feel like we need Him the most, is when we feel Him the least. God hears and answers all prayers, but sometimes the answer is “no” or “not yet.” These are the hardest to hear, but often the most life-changing at the same time.
I struggled with this concept for so many months as we worked through the same, gnawing struggles. We spent so much time praying for an answer. We prayed that God would help us out of the emotional turmoil that we felt; that He would provide a job for Adam where he would feel encouraged and we prayed that that job would provide financially.
The more jobs he applied to, the more rejections he received. We felt stuck. We were being responsible, earnestly seeking God’s guidance, and we felt right with God. Why was He not answering? Why was He silent?
Adam and I have been working through a book called Experiencing God in our quiet times. One morning, I was talking with God, and praying for a bit of understanding. Then I opened the reading for that day.
It’s amazing how God knows exactly where we are and how he speaks to us.
This particular day was all about the silence of God, the story of Lazarus being the main point of focus. If you’re not familiar with the story, Lazarus was very sick and his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus, wanting Him to come and heal their brother. Lazarus was a great friend of Jesus, but Jesus waited until he had died to go and visit him. Jesus then brought him back to life. The full story is in John 11. This specific section talked about how Jesus did not rush to heal Lazarus from his sickness but chose to wait until he had died.
Mary and Martha were distraught. When Jesus did come, Martha said to him “Lord, if you had been there, my brother would not have died.” Martha felt the pain of Jesus’s silence. What she was about to discover, however, was that Jesus had an entirely different plan.
Experiencing God talks about how Jesus’ refusal to respond right away, and his silence, were not rejection; they were opportunities to reveal something greater about himself than He ever had.
Jesus had healed many people at that point, but specifically chose this timing to show that He had power over life and death! Now, if Jesus had come when Lazarus was sick, we wouldn’t have seen that the Savior of the world had this incredible power!
That was a life-changing day for me. It altered my entire thought process. God has a purpose for everything. He has a specific reason for His timing. As we continue to seek the Lord and obey, and as we are in the midst of still working through struggles, God has a plan and will reveal Himself in His perfect timing.
Our job is to pursue where we feel God leading and trust in His direction, even if we don’t understand
When Adam came home that night, we talked for quite a long time about this new frame of mind.
Because Adam didn’t find a job for such a long time period, we began an entirely new thought process. We started to really pray and seek where God wanted us, not just what we thought should happen or what seemed to be the logical next step.
God spoke to both of our hearts during the time where we thought He wasn’t hearing us at all. Radiant Marriage was birthed out of God’s silence about our job situation.
Sometimes God answers “no” and it’s the best thing that can happen to us. It can change the whole trajectory of our lives. It inspires us to look at life in a different way. All we need to do is open our hearts.
God is looking for people who are in full submission, not people who are perfect
Are you in a time of silence where God might be trying to reveal something to you? The Holy Spirit has amazing ways of speaking to us…if we will listen. Look for where God might be speaking to you today. When you feel that God is not answering, or that He is distant, cling to His promises. He loves you and He has an amazing plan for your life if you’re willing to join Him. I encourage you to not be discouraged when it feels that God is distant. Refocus and shift your thinking toward where He is guiding you and get ready for an amazing adventure!
Has God said “no” to something in your life where it ultimately turned out for the best? Let us know in the comments below…