It is early March, and I am visiting my girlfriend in Canada. I have been here a few days and things have been going really well. We are getting to spend some quality time together and are having a lot of fun. However, last night as I was about to prepare dinner and she was preparing to get washed up for the night, the power went out…
Our plans came to a screeching halt; she was unable to see in the bathroom, there was no power for her to blow dry her hair after she got out of the shower, and there was now no power for me to warm up my food. We sat around for a couple of minutes waiting for it to come back on and finally gave up and decided we would attempt our plans again in the morning.
Unfortunately, we woke up to realize that the power was still out and she would now have to take a cold shower because there is no more hot water in the building and I would have to wait until after I dropped her off at work to get some food at a restaurant downtown. We had so much we wanted to do, but then the lights went out, and our plans had to change.
How often does this same thing happen between God and us? We are travelling down a path until finally the lights go out (or at least we think they are), we feel like we have lost all communication with God, and we don’t know where to go next. We are stuck in our last moment with him, waiting for the plans to resume. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes things go silent because we have turned off the power ourselves, and sometimes the power goes out because God is trying to get our attention.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
In the verses above, David is crying out to God, probably while his son Absalom was hunting him. He feels distant from God and is praying for relief, praying for God to show him favor again and help him escape his enemy and to live life again. Now, I know that most, if not all, of the people reading this are not being hunted by their son; however, I can bet there are a couple people out there that are feeling distant from God, feeling like they are so far from Him and just want to hear from Him again, and that is relatable to all of us, whether we are in that season right now, or we have been in that season in the past. I can almost guarantee that all of us have felt like God was distant at one point or another. Sometimes we put him there and sometimes He puts us there.
In this post, I want to talk briefly about when God puts us in the dark, when he allows things to go quiet. You may be asking yourself, why would God do that? Why would He purposefully stop communicating with his children? I think He does it for a couple different reasons.
The first is, sometimes He stops communicating because He wants us to seek Him. Often our lives get so busy and we are running in a thousand different directions, then God goes quiet right when we need Him the most. I feel like he does this sometimes because he wants us to slow down, to take some time out of our busy schedule, to place Him back where He belongs as the number one priority in our lives.
The second reason I think God goes quiet is because I feel like sometimes He wants us to learn something new. I feel like God is always revealing new sides of Himself to us and sometimes we get comfortable in the God that we think we know, and I think in these times that we feel most comfortable, God likes to shake things up and teach us a new way to hear Him, a new way to communicate with Him and a new and more intimate way to know Him.
The third way I think God goes silent on us is that He wants to change our direction. Sometimes we are so busy running in one direction that even if God were to scream in our face we would still keep running. I think this is because if we can hear God we assume that things must be good, or at least fine. However, when things go silent, we start to question whether we are really doing what we are supposed to be doing and reassess our situations.
These may be just a few reasons why God allows us to go into the dark. We may be going about our plans as normal, moving forward in time and then God turns out the lights to help us focus. We could be planning for dinner or planning for a shower, or planning to run for our lives, and sometimes the power goes out and just like David we have a choice in how we will respond.
If you read the passage above in Psalms 13 again, you will see that David is crying out for God to reveal Himself to him again. And even though he knows God feels so far away, he still trusts God to take care of him and he still praises Him even in the darkest moments.
This needs to be our response as well. When the power goes out, we need to be crying out, seeking God and seeking His direction, and we need to continue to carry a positive attitude and continue to give God the praise He is due. Because no matter how far or how silent we think God is, He is always right there, being patient and waiting for the right time to turn the power back on and carry us into a new season with Him!
Good post Matthew. I can definitely relate. Keep up the good work.