Lord, I call to You;
my rock, do not be deaf to me.
If You remain silent to me,
I will be like those going down to the Pit.
— Psalm 28:1 (HCSB)
Some will have read the words of the title and be instantly thrown back into déjà vu. Others may read the opening words of the Davidic psalm and know that feeling hostile to our faith. It seems absurd that God would call a servant to a place, and there leave him or her alone; completely abandoned!
Silence. A vacuum where His Presence used to be. Voided of our experience. Gone.
And at such a time as this; on the back of a cataclysm, where vanquished is a life we truly enjoyed. As much are the pangs of calamity as the suddenness of its timing.
Abruptly, when a cataclysm has taken place, we’re in a life transition we never asked for, and never would. And so, to add to our woes, God up and leaves.
What purpose is in His sovereign will when He allows what will cause us a series of conniptions, and then departs?
When we’re in God’s silence it doesn’t help much to be continually reminded by others of the Footprints in the Sand poem. It seems so clichéd. But it is an answer to our prayers when God’s Spirit places it in the most arcane place where we would otherwise not have seen it! Through a series of impossibilities, God begins speaking again! And this is how God eventually does show up; in the most accusatory manner, in order to show us our lack of faith, whilst at the same time telling us, “Well done good and faithful servant,” for continuing to look for Him despite our worn down demeanour.
God does show up. And we always feel relieved, knowing that, though our lack of faith gave Him up, He did not give us up.
Our temptation when God is silent is to doubt Him and backslide in our faith, but our response should be to step up our prayer life and listen even more intently.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.