There are various types of trials and hardships in life. Some are physical, while others are emotional, mental, or a combination of all three. Whether the trying circumstance you are going through is caused by your personal doing or by those that surround you, all three types of tribulation are equally difficult to get through. While the trials themselves may be made up of entirely different types of suffering, it is through these past years of my teenage life that I have noticed one similarity between all the differing hardships that ail us humans, and that is the struggle in the silence. We are promised that God will “never leave us nor forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV), that “if we ask anything according to His will He hears us” (1 John 5:14, ESV) as He gives generously to all without reproach” (James 1:5, ESV). Yet if you have ever been in the midst of a seemingly relentless storm in life, you know how hard it can be to hear God’s voice above the loud pounding and crashing of the waves around us. We plead for God to show us the way out, or at least give us some sort of answer or understanding to the problem at hand. Patiently, fervently, and in complete surrender, we wait. It is in this waiting period that we experience the silence, a time where we can very easily feel lost, with no sense of direction, wondering where to turn, and ultimately, completely helplessness and hopeless. Events continue to pile up on our shoulders and the weight of the burdens they bring become too great to handle. It is here, in the silence, with the walls pressuring in on all sides, that we come to our breaking point.
Much like David who was experiencing affliction on every side, it is during these times that we must cry out to God. It is true, without Him we will be lost, broken, consumed, and utterly destroyed by the storms that surround us. However, we must realize that simply because we are in a season of silence, does not mean that He has stopped working on our behalf (John 5:17). In fact, while the silence may seem unbearable at times, it is a time that we can find the most growth in our souls. The pain we are experiencing is very real, and there is no shame in crying out to God both physically and verbally. Yet we must not let the silence ring so loudly in our ears that we cannot find peace through Christ. This can be extremely difficult, especially when the events that are taking place seem completely unfair. In reality, they very well may be unjust, however, this is simply the sinful world we live in. Yet as horrible as things may seem, God only acts out of love for His children. Even when our “enemies surround [us] like a herd of bulls” and our “strength has dried up like sunbaked clay” (Psalm 22:12-13, NIV) God promises to always rescue, protect, answer, be with, and ultimately deliver us if we make the Most High our dwelling place (Psalm 91, NIV). Therefore, while all of our own efforts may prove useless in getting ourselves out of present situation, we have a God whose ways are higher than ours and can make all things possible (Isaiah 55:8-11; Matthew 19:26, NIV). Overall, dealing with the silence can be a tricky task, as we are naturally inclined to run from it. However, this is precisely what the Devil wants. Instead, we must learn not to resist the silence, but embrace it, as it is in these moments God is doing His greatest work in and through us. While we may not know when the silence will end, He does, and He will see us through (Colossians 1:13)
1 Kings 19:12 “After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”