There are seasons in which crops grow, the fields are lush and green, gardens are full of blooming flowers. Yet, there are seasons when the ground is frozen, there is seemingly no life, no color. Everything is ice. The same thing happens to us. Every Christian has encounters in which God comes to us, answering our prayers, winning our trust, watering ones garden of faith, making it green and lush. And then there are times when chaos careens with apparent carelessness through our lives and the world, leaving us shattered. Or an unrelenting darkness descends. Or an arid wind we don’t even understand blows across our spiritual landscape, leaving the crust of our soul cracked and parched. And we cry to God in our confused anguish and he just seems silent. He seems absent.
People who had or have experienced such times would understand Andrew Peterson's song “The silence of God”:
It’s enough to drive a man crazy, it’ll break a man’s faith
It’s enough to make him wonder, if he’s ever been sane
When he’s bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the Heaven’s only answer is the silence of God… (quote)
And also Rich Mullins’s song, Hard to get:
Do you remember when you lived down here where we all scrape
To find the faith to ask for daily bread?
Did you forget about us after you had flown away?
Well I memorized ev’ry word you said. Still I’m so scared I’m holding my breath, While you’re up there just playing hard to get… (quote)
All who were faithful to God were eventually led into the lonely, disorienting, weary wilderness. And then, they cry to the lord, lamenting. Job said to the Lord: “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me (Job 30:20). King David also said to God: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” (Psalms 22:1-2)
People who do not believe that God exists (atheists) would tell us that the reason God was/is silent is because God is absent. There is nobody at that address, of course nobody answers. That can be pretty tempting to believe in times of silence. Yet, that is not possible, as Parmenides and Maria from “ The sound of music” said, nothing can not come from nothing (quote). How was it then that the world came to be about if God doesn't exist?
Believing in atheists is like believing that the world is flat. It might seem like it, but Earth also seems like it is flat? The reason that this silence exists is not because God is ignoring one, quite the opposite. God, for most of the time, is silent because he trusts one. When the devil was choosing someone to tempt, the Lord recommended Job. He then became silent, because he trusted Job. That's one reason. The other is, God is strengthen our faith in him. If we manage to still stay with God, we would become even stronger!
The number one thing to remember is, God has a plan. He, as the singer Steven Curtis Chapman put it, is weaving a beautiful tapestry, in which this phrase is found in:
No thread will be left unwoven, nothing will be left undone, every plan and every purpose that He has will be accomplished… (quote)
When all seems lost, there is one thing to remember: God will finish what he started.