Silence… It can be the most uncomfortable of moments and yet can provide you with the greatest opportunity for growth
Silence… It can create the most awkward of situations and yet can provide you with the truest sense of peace you will ever know
Silence… It can destroy a relationship and yet can open the door for God to heal the brokenness
Silence… It can give a sense of rejection and yet can also create a sense of belonging
Habakkuk 2:18-20 “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.”
Silence… before the Lord Almighty… Silence… in honor of His power and might… Silence in awe of His glory…
But what do we do when we feel that our prayers, cries, requests, pleadings are met with silence?
There will be times in your life that you will feel just as the people of the Bible felt for approximately 400 years when God went silent. There have been and will be times, no doubt, where you feel alone in the darkness… There have been and will be times where you will feel that you have prayed, begged, pleaded, and cried out to God only to be met with deafening silence… Has God forsaken you? Is God ignoring you? Where is God? When I need you the most, this is how you answer me? With silence?
And it is in those moments where you will see that God’s providence has been hard at work even in places that you did not expect or imagine. For the world during this period of silence, there was a unifying action taking place… People were being made to learn, speak, read, and write in one (maybe two) languages… The popular culture of the time was growing by leaps and bounds meaning that there was becoming a universal set of issues that needed to be addressed… The dominant culture that was beginning to form also began improving transportation and security to a degree that one could travel all over the known world at the time and not have to be afraid for their lives… All of these things added up to bring about the absolute perfect moment for the anticipated Messiah to come in to the world.
God’s apparent silence throughout most of history is not because God was absent or inactive, but simply because it takes eyes of faith to see where God is at work even when He doesn’t have someone write about it. So also it is in our own lives. Even when it seems your prayers seem bounce off the ceiling, even when you feel that you do not sense God’s presence, even when it appears God is absent and silent, the reality is the exact opposite. God is with you. God loves you. God hears your prayers, knows what you need, and is involved in your life. He is there and He is active. It takes eyes of faith to see God’s hand at work in our lives, even when it seems God is absent or silent.
Anticipation is something that no one in our world enjoys… we are a society that demands what we want when we want it… when we are told to be patient, we typically respond harshly or in a childlike manner as if to say, “others may have to wait, but I shouldn't have to!” In many cases, the anticipation sets us up to be disappointed by the thing we waited so long for… The desperate need to be accepted is oftentimes met by the disappointment of not feeling any different… The desperate need for love is oftentimes met by the destruction of guilt and pain… The desperate materialism that drives our culture is oftentimes met with disappointment when the thing or things we wanted most don’t live up to our unrealistic demands or expectations… So many times, we are let down by the things we anticipated most… However, in the case of the anticipated Messiah, no one could have imagined or expected what He would bring to a lost and dying world. There is no doubt that the prayer of the righteous in that day was heard by the very Creator of the world… It is with great power and great humility and great understanding and great purpose that Jesus came into the world:
“…you will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
“‘…they will call him Immanuel’ (which means, God with us.)”
“‘…for from you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
“We have found the Messiah”
When the world believed that God had abandoned them, He came to live with them.