Friday, November 18, 2011

When the Silence of God is Good

Thank you to my friend Janine who shares her experience of God’s silence for our encouragement.
I am in a new phase in life…a new location, new relationships but most importantly I face this new phase with a new interior world that has been through dramatic transformation.  As I look at what is next in life I wonder and pray…Lord, what do you have for me?  Answers, it seems, are a long time in coming.  I am so ready to start the next part of my journey and share the fullness inside that seems to be overflowing.  I don’t want to contain it.  Yet, as I pray to the God of the Universe who set the planets in motion, the oceans rising and falling and the wind whirling, I know there is a rhythm to life and wisdom to God’s work.  So, I live in the tension of wanting to “do” something versus being prepared to move into whatever He has for me.  This tension is, at times, very strong because of this sense within me that He has work for me.  I think I’m ready but I have no clarity on what I am to do.  In my wondering, I’m reminded that the disciples were prepared for 3 years before they moved into their purpose, which brings peace to my soul.  I remember to not overlook the interior preparation for the exterior movement into others lives.  
Romans 8:24-25 (The Message)
“That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.  We are enlarged in the waiting.  We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging in us.  But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.”
Ahhh, yes. I get what Janine is saying. The silence of God can seem so loud. I long for words, for direction, sometimes just the next step. But all I hear is silence. In our physical lives when one of our senses is toned down, the others often become sharper. When I don’t hear, my feeling or seeing seems more alive.
I picture an infant bundled tightly in a receiving blanket and cradled in his mother’s arms, so content, so secure, so protected. I wonder ~ can these times of silence be times of resting in the character of God; a time of being wrapped in God’s all-good, all-wise, all-knowing, all-loving character – a time to trust.
“Under the circumstances”, a common phrase, was challenged by Howard Hendricks. In one of his messages at a conference Bill and I attended years ago, in his entertaining and profound way, he challenged, “What are you doing under the circumstances?” He was exhorting us to live above our circumstances. The thought comes, perhaps I should be living beyond my circumstances – living by what I know is true about God. Trusting that in His silence, God He is hard at work on my behalf.
“But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working … and I am working.”
John 5:17

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