And sometimes He's silent.
This morning I was praying and speaking to the Lord about things heavy on my heart. Things I've been almost afraid to ask, things that I want to know more about. While I've known Him for decades, I still find that sometimes I need to muster enough courage to ask Him the big questions. I asked about very specific situations--wanting His guidance on certain matters.
And as I sat expectantly, I only heard silence.
I sat there in hushed anticipation--surely this was the moment He was going to speak to me in the depths of my soul and bring insight and guidance to me. He was going to clear my path and assure me of His plans for me. I have heard His voice before--it resonates down to my very core when He speaks. My ears were attentive, my heart was beating loudly, and my mind was waiting for the sound of His voice.
But, this time, there was only silence.
It's frustrating when there are big questions. When there are scary tasks and things that are looking us in the face. When the trials and messes we're in the middle of leave us gasping for air and grasping at straws. We keep looking for the answers, but they are nowhere to be found.
We ask our Father the same questions we've been asking since we were little kids:
What is this?
And why must we walk this way?
Where are we going?
When will we make it?
And what will we do when we get there?
I'm watching family and friends go through tremendous trials--wave after wave after wave after wave. I wonder why some people must go through seemingly endless battles in their lives? I want answers to the big questions and the reasons for this craziness--and I want Him to swoop in and be the One who sets it straight. I want Justice and and I want Mercy. And I want Peace to fill the hearts of His people. I want Grace to flood this place and seep into our pores--so much that we can't help but accept it and extend it like the air we breathe.
We sang about the Risen King on Sunday. We proclaimed that He has defeated death and has set the captives free from the bondage of our sins. We celebrated His power and might and victory, and just days (and in some cases, hours) later we're wanting more. Our sinful human heads and hearts have convinced us that even though we proclaim that His death and resurrection has saved the entire world, we still need to know that individually we matter, too.
Is it not enough for me that He has won?
Am I that spoiled and selfish?
Am I truly receiving the precious, blood bought gift of Life if I'm still asking where the rest of my gifts are?
I'm learning that these are the moments in which we must die to self. We must recognize that He is moving and stirring the hearts of His people. Yes, there are big stones in front of us that must be rolled away and there are souls that we need to run next to as we run towards Him. Because, if I'm going to proclaim that He's defeated death and that He is the King, and if I believe that He has overcome and that He has saved the world, then I must believe that He is working all things for the good of those who love Him.
And "those" includes "me"--even when I don't hear Him.
And "all things" includes the things I don't understand.
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
1 Cor. 16:13 NLT
Though the ground all around us is shaking, it's time to stand up and stand firm, Church.