Silence isn’t always golden. Especially if you are a believer. I don’t care who you are, there comes those times in our relationship with God when things get stale. It happens. It’s one of those dry spells everyone goes through. Even the most religious person goes through it. When I was in the Pentecostal Church they had folks who were “on fire for God”. So what happens when that fire isn’t so hot?
One of the most important things I have learned about going through times like these is to keep talking to God. Silence is dangerous and leaves you open for temptation if you aren’t careful. Keep talking to God even if it feels like a one-way conversation or if you feel absolutely nothing. Whatever ritual you have in praying, keep it up.
During these silent times you simply have to push through. It is difficult and very frustrating – believe me. I totally dread the times of silence. If you go to church you hate it or you look for reasons to miss. It’s not an easy time.
Another thing that always seems to work for me is to find a new song. I usually go to the latest Christian music releases on iTunes and see what song touches me. I love it when I find that favorite new song or a new artist. Music is something that will stir my soul.
The times of silence aren’t fun but you can get through it. I have often wondered why we even had these times. Sometimes God withdraws himself from us on purpose to help us to focus more on Him or on an area in our lives that needs some improvement. He doesn’t necessarily leave us but at times He may not be as present with us as He is at other times. Do I always understand it? Not really. Can I adequately explain it? Hardly.
Sometimes it’s just the fact that we are human. Can I be brutally honest here? Frankly it gets boring. We talk to God and we hear nothing. It can get to where we feel like we are talking to ourselves. He’s God and we’re human. We aren’t on the same level so we can easily get out of synch. When things get boring or when our human emotions temper our relationship with God, we have to push our way through it. Change things up. Study the examples in the Bible when people went through the same situation.
The final thing that always seems to get the spiritual mojo again is thinking of others. It could be volunteering or simply being kind to someone. Reach out to someone who is hurting. Be the Jesus in human form to someone else. It doesn’t have to be religious to make a difference to someone. Quite honestly it is rare in today’s selfie world to find someone that is kind and thoughtful to others.
Maintaining a relationship with God isn’t always easy. The silent times are hard work but it is so important to get through them and make your relationship with God worth the effort.
In the old days, we used to wait for a week of revival meetings to get energized again. Sadly it sometimes was nothing more than a spiritual pep rally to stir up emotions only to leave when the revival was over. We shouldn’t depend upon a dynamic evangelist to do it for us or to be hoodwinked that we should “sow a seed” into someone’s ministry. Contrary to what they may think, a relationship with God can’t be bought. It just takes some inner strength and discipline to do it.
As I am writing this, I am going through the silent period. I have been around long enough to recognize it. I hate it too. When it happens, I want it to be over as quickly as possible. I annoy myself with how inconsistent things are right now. I still keep the faith and keep doing the things I know to do to get through it and I will. You have to be determined.
Yesterday I was sitting in the car waiting for my wife when I heard the song “Broken Prayers” by Riley Clemmons. The chorus says:
You want my tears, every messy word
Every scar and every fear
You want all I have
With no holding back
When I’m hurt, at my worst
You meet me there
‘Cause you see the beauty
In my broken prayers
In my broken prayers
You can watch the lyric version of this song here.
It is tempting that when things are silent in our relationship with God that we feel abandoned by Him. This couldn’t be further from the truth. He may be testing us by allowing us to see the things in ourselves that we need to work on. The silence exposes our fears and gaps in our faith. Life always has a lesson for us. The only way we get better and grow is when we learn from those lessons.
Does this make me feel any better about the silent times? No, not really. I may understand it better but it still doesn’t mean I like it. Regardless, we still have to push through it.