By BRENNA WEAVER, LPC
It seems God has gone silent, and I have too. What do I do?
Answer: Sometimes silence is not always as golden as the idiom would like us to believe. I have also experienced moments when it seems God has gone silent, and in response, I went silent too. You are not alone, my friend. Unfortunately, our silence, unlike like God’s, can be sinful.
In his book “Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament,” Mark Vroegop writes, “Giving God the silent treatment is the ultimate manifestation of unbelief. Despair lives under the hopeless resignation that God doesn’t care, he doesn’t hear, and nothing is ever going to change. People who believe this stop praying.”
Is your silence prayerless? Prayer is essential in the life of a believer. As 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us, “Pray without ceasing.” It sounds easy; we know it is not. I imagine there are moments when the silence is deafening, and one does not know where to begin with prayer. The fact that you have asked, “What do I do?” shows that you value your connection with God, and you want the lines of communication to open freely again.
Take some time to consider what silenced you in the first place. Unanswered prayer? Frustrations with life circumstances (loss of employment, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, etc.)? Family or friends pushing boundaries? Make a list. Journal. Ask those closest to you if they have noticed your silence, and what they think could be the cause.
After you have carefully pondered that, consider what you are wanting to say to God. You might be thinking, “I don’t know what I want to tell God,” out of fear it would be inappropriate to say, “I want to know why or how or what; I want answers.” Some Christians do not believe it is good to question God. Nonetheless, scripture shows us that questioning rightly is OK.
Psalm 44:23-24 says, “Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?” Psalm 88:14 says, “O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?” Job questions God. Jonah questions God. John the Baptist questions Jesus. On multiple occasions, the disciples question Him, too. Questioning is not always bad. Plus, He already knows the questions in our hearts, so to verbalize them humbly and honestly is OK.
Also, contemplate the ways you believe God has gone silent. Has He gone silent, or have you stopped hearing and responding? Even if He seems quiet, it does not mean He is not listening. 1 John 5:14 tells us, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Break your silence. Go to God in prayer. He will hear you and draw near to you. He is faithful. He loves you. Hebrews 10:23 reminds us, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
Brenna Weaver is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Ridgeland working with clients 18 years and older. She has experience as a secondary education teacher and children’s therapist. When not working, she enjoys reading, eating good food, and traveling.