In the Holy Silence
Yesterday in Sunday School we talked about the blank page in the Bible. It's one of my favorite topics because it represents 400 years of life that happened seemingly without God. YET, He orchestrated everything during that time.
It represents His people. Their disobedience, their forgetfulness, their passing down stories of God's faithfulness, their relentless pattern of turning to God and falling away.
But mostly, it represents His faithfulness.
What I love about the blank page is that this is where most of our own life happens.
The blank page is filled with the mundane things that happen on our way from one assignment to another, one season to the next, one valley to the next mountaintop.
Don't you know that there were moments amid these generations when the Israelites asked the Lord : Have You forgotten about me? Where are you, God? Don't You remember Your promises to us - to never leave or forsake us? What did I do wrong? Why have You deserted us?
What we can't miss here is that He never left, y'all.
That 400 years was spent honing and preparing the Isrealites for Who was to come. That 400 years was waiting for just the right woman and just the right man from the line of David to parent the Messiah. That 400 years was spent orchestrating the intersecting of the lives of Paul, Peter, James, John and even Judas.
That 400 years was not wasted time.
And neither is your wait.
When I was stuck in a season of dry and barren faith, I turned it inward and made it about me. I was sure I was being punished, that this waiting season was a consequence for something I did wrong. I spent the better part of two years chastising myself and asking God to reveal whatever it was to me so I could make it right. Over and over again.
Actually, it wasn't about ME at all, but rather all about HIM.
Staying focused on God’s Heavenly plan is counter intuitive while we live in seasons of waiting. However, in those same seasons, God builds and refines character as we choose to press into His holiness instead of throw our hands up in defeat.
There are two things that happen when we decide to press in instead of pull away.
First, waiting gives God the chance to refine our character and to peel away layers of our lives that are no longer needed. Shame, guilt, roles we are holding onto, an assignment long overdue, labels we have placed on ourselves. I mean, who else is holding onto that position God called you to three years ago? Is it time to move on into something new?
We must remember that God doesn't often map out where we are going when He asks us to leave something behind. Maybe it isn't that you are waiting on God, but rather that God is waiting on YOU?
The waiting also provides us with the chance to encounter God's character. I don't know about you, but I am used to seeking God for what He does for me. We worship Him for His blessings, His provision, for health and security. But what if all of that were taken away? What would I worship Him for?
God is worthy of worship even in His silence.
Are you in a season of wait today? Girl, I know it's hard. I feel like I'm always waiting and don't even know what's coming up next. But would you allow me to encourage you for a moment with this passage of scripture?
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout and furnishing the seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with JOY and be led forth with PEACE; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to the Lord, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off." Isaiah 55:8-13
Even when life is filled with Holy silence, seek God still. Even when reading scripture seems fruitless, remember His Word will not return void. When it seems like no progress is being made, remember the seed has to bear (root) before it can sprout, and it has to sprout before it can be sown, and it has to be sown before it can provide bread.
God's order is not ours, but it is specific to you and it is perfect.