God’s Deafening Silence

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When I was much younger I heard stories about the 30 day nights that parts of Alaska experience each year.  I couldn’t in my wildest dreams fathom how a person could withstand 30 days of cold and darkness, even knowing that the darkness was temporary and that soon the morning sun would be seen again.  Now I know all too well what long periods of still darkness feel like and it is no less easy to cope with. All believers have been there-the periods of your faith journey when God seems to take a hiatus from leading us and leaves us to our own vices.  We may cry out to God in despair-we may dig deeper into The Word-we may fast, light candles, rise boldly with harsh words, fall on our face in submissive humility, and still nothing.  We knock with no answer, we seek but don’t find, we ask but are left with no answers.  The long periods of God’s extended Winter silence is cold and deafening.

When Mother Teresa passed on to her reward she left behind some letters that she had written in her 50 years of service.  Who among us could boast to have the heart of God that she spent her life displaying. One might believe that for someone to accomplish what she did in her life of service to the poor and needy that God must have been an ever present guide and companion. But her letters surprisingly reveal quite the opposite.  Listen to her heartfelt despair in some of her letters; “I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul, . And another, “I want God with all the power of my soul — and yet between us there is terrible separation. And again,  “I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing.” And finally, “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. The tongue moves but does not speak.” The are the words spoken by one of God’s true saints.  At no time in her journey does she ever confess a true disbelief in God, but in the silence she wrestled with the knowledge of His existence and involvement in her life against the tangible evidence that indicated otherwise.

As I read the Psalms I can hear in David’s voice his own personal agony as he sought God in his most desperate of times only to hear the sound of silence.  Does this sound like you?

“Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” “I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever”. “LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?” And even Jesus, as He hung on the cross cried out to His Father, “why have you forsaken me?”

There is no recording in scripture of God answering even His own Son.  Are we to demand more than He gave His own Son? these times in our lives are the most trying, the most painful, the most difficult times of our journey.  And it seems like the times that are the darkest are the times when God seems to be the most distant. So how do we cope.  How do we tone down the deafness of God’s silence when we can’t sense, find or hear Him?  Don’t believe for a second that I have this figured out as I have been seeking God’s voice over a situation for many years with no clear response.  Yet as a long time believer these are the things I try to rely on to get through each dark day.  First, I have to disconnect my heart from my mind.  We all want to “feel” our faith, but most times we have to choose to recall and believe God’s Word and the promises He left for us.  Hebrews says that faith is believing in things not seen-I might add things not felt or heard as well.  We have to go by our knowledge that God can’t go back on His promise to love us, to guide us and to work all things out for our good, even when we can’t see Him doing so.  Second, I have to learn how to navigate the darkness.  Those who are blind and live by themselves learn how to navigate their dwellings by recalling where objects are and assuming they remain unmoved.  I can’t always see god but I know He’s there because He’s always been there before and I must navigate under the belief that I am not alone and that God has not been moved.  Lastly, and perhaps the most difficult, even though I can’t hear His voice, I must continue to communicate with Him in prayer. It may seem like more of a monologue than a dialogue, but through prayer the line of communication remains open and things are brought to mind that compel us to keep moving forward on our journey.  Once we stop communing with God, the darkness will overcome us and leave us vulnerable and defenseless to enemy attacks.

How I wish God taught us things using any method but silence.  To those like me it is the most excruciating experience imaginable.  Earnestly seeking God but not finding Him where we think He should be leaves us feeling much the same as it must have Mother Teresa.  But even when we can’t hear Him, we know He hears us. I exhort you today to keep fighting, keep believing, keep studying and keep praying to a sovereign God Who has already displayed His love for us in ways that requires no further response.

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5 thoughts on “God’s Deafening Silence

  1. Pingback: God’s Deafening Silence | In My Own Words

  2. One statement is enough for a mature and evolved spirit to understand the immortal importance of a sentence, of a written line, due to its indestructible invaluable content that teaches how the spirit should act to develop the inner God, or to turn into Spirit and Truth, or to realise in it the teachings of the Bible – YOU ARE GODS.
    There are people who devour books, searching for religions, sects and banners, listening to the incarnate and the discarnate, but they do not change inwardly and do not really blossom… They are like mediocrity that goes around the PERFECTION, without ever reaching it…
    The Exemplary Word warned these people, by saying: “The Kingdom of God is inside each one, it does not come with external signs.”
    Therefore, those who do not know how to LOOK FOR THEMSELVES, and have not FOUND THEMSELVES yet, will have to search high and low, hovering unhappily, in the kingdom of emptiness and painful doubts.
    An old initiatic saying teaches: “The good disciple awaits doing good.”
    The Exemplary Word also taught: “Upon your patience you shall build your souls.”
    These abstracts say to the immature, to those empty spirits: “Learn how to run to your inner self, because it is there that God has placed His Divine Virtues, which, when blossomed, will make you a TOTAL ONE, GOD IN GOD, BECAUSE NO ONE WILL BE CHILD OF GOD ETERNALLY.”
    However, let us remember these wise words: “One word to those who understand it is worth a whole speech to those who do not understand it.”

    All the best. With love, Neil.

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    • Thanks for your comments Neil-I always welcome constructive feedback. That said I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement. I disagree on the basis of my faith and acceptance of the Bible as a guide for my spiritual life. Scripture is very clear that we who accept Christ are privileged to be called sons and daughters of God. No where does it indicate we are gods. It also says we could never in and of ourselves acquire righteousness, saying that our best efforts are as filthy rags. And through the death and subsequent resurrection of Christ, which I firmly believe in, we indeed are assured of an eternal life with Him as a child of God. That is not to say that we don’t have our issues here on earth attempting to “find” our place in His plan from time to time. I appreciate that your view can’t understand a person’s search for God because you believe that we are all our own god, but if the best in me is to be viewed as a god, then we are all most miserable among men as I in my best efforts am a wretched, hateful and impatient creature. It is only through God working in me that I am able to somewhat represent the deity of Christ through His mercy and forgiveness. Only then is my life able to resemble the God who dwells within me. Peace Neil

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  3. Hi Joe.
    When the so-called Initiatic Wisdom, or Science of the Mysteries, or Science of the Oracles instructs men to know themselves, so that then they may get to know the Universe and the Gods, it instructs nothing but to acknowledge that everything emanates from the ONE ORIGIN, that IN HIM everything moves and everything achieves the purpose..
    Thousands of years later, when Jesus reaffirmed the ‘YOU ARE GODS’, He said nothing but the same truth. However, with the corruption of the Sublime Doctrine of the Path, these and other FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS have been forgotten, buried under the debris of all sorts of simulations and machinations, seriously harmful to people’s spiritual progress.
    To say that all religions are good is the same as to purposefully insult the TRUTH. No DIVINE OR FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH depends on human opinion in order to be. The TRUTH is good and the mistakes of religion fabricators will have to burst against it.
    Morals, Love, Revelation, Wisdom and Virtue are the positive factors that will make the Inner Christ of the spirit blossom. Pocket, Stomach, Sex, Pride and Selfishness are the factors that, used negatively, shall lead the spirit to weeping and grinding of teeth.
    A new cyclical-evolutionary time is coming to Humanity; but the Law of God and the Divine Model Christ will see those who did wrong, grieving their guilt, because they will not go through any changes.

    All the best. With love, Neil.

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  4. Not entirely sure if we are in agreement or at odds. However you are misusing the verse where Christ said “you are gods”. He was in danger of being stoned for His claim to be the son of God. He used their own words against them. He was not confirming deity but referring to a Psalm that indicated they were gods. However the use of the term signified those who were in authority, i.e. lords, kings, judges, magistrates, etc-not Gods. This is later confirmed in Corinthians and Ephesians where the Apostle Paul reiterates that there is One God the Father, one son, Jesus Christ. The post specifically addresses those who are in Christ with full knowledge as to who God is, at least as much as the mortal human can be exposed to such truth, and yet going through long times of testing and silence. In no way am I questioning God, his existence, his sovereignty, or his unique and sole divinity. Just the opposite-I am straining to find more of him, to hear from him, to in every way become more like him so that he lives transparently through me in spite of the fact that I an unworthy on my own and most certainly not a god (little g)

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