Living in the Silence
Welcome back to my round coffee table, friends. It's an honor to have you here. Let's get comfortable and chat for a little while!
You know the verse...
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1
And most of us know what comes next. A list of the seasons in life. a season of birth or of death, of weeping or of dancing, of loving or of hating, of war or of peace, and the list continues...
I think that if we were really sitting at a coffee table, and began to go around sharing the seasons we find ourselves in, we would probably find that it's one of the seasons listed within Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
There's a season, that although not listed in this portion of scripture, is widely talked about within scripture. It's a season that can stand alone or be intertwined with other seasons, and it's a season that we all likely find ourselves in or have found ourselves in at some moment in time.
This season is: the season of silence. This season can often go hand in hand with the season of waiting. Although, you can have waiting without silence.
You can be waiting for a job, a child, a husband/wife, a promotion, deliverance, healing, results, to see change in someone else's life, someone's salvation, an answer to a prayer you've had for 1 day, 3months or 10 years, and the list continues...
Regardless of what we wait for, often times, we find ourselves waiting in silence. We feel as if though, we continue to wait and see no response or action in the direction of an answer. This can be so difficult, but take heart, you don't wait alone.
Let's pretend that we can bring friends from the Bible to our coffee table. There would be two friends in particular that I would like to invite. These friends would be Abraham and Aaron.
As we sit with Abraham, I would love to discuss the walk up to Mt Moriah. Mt Moriah is where he was going to sacrifice his very own son, with his own hands at the command of the LORD. Wow! What a difficult, burdensome and unfathomable task.
We can find this scripture in Genesis 22:1-2
"After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he answered. “Take your son,” He said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Wow! What a command. I love that the LORD decided it was important to include in this scripture that it was a son that Abraham loved. A son that Abraham had prayed for, and a son that Abraham had a long season of waiting for. A miracle child... and he was called and commanded to offer him as a sacrifice.
I would love to talk with Abraham about that night of the command. What did it look like? The scriptures don't give us anymore detail after he was commanded to sacrifice Isaac. According to the scriptures, after the command, there was silence. There was silence that night and there was silence the three days that it took him to travel to the place where God commanded him to go. Although three days of silence may seem trivial to those of us that have been waiting or in a season of silence for months and maybe years, 3 days of silence on your way to sacrifice your son seems like an eternity to me!
Next, I would love to sit down with Aaron for a little while and talk with him about what happened at the bottom at Mt Sinai while he and the Israelites waited for Moses to return from speaking with the LORD for 40 days and 40 nights.
You can find this scripture in Exodus 32:1-4
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
Wow! This story leaves me speechless, more often than not... Aaron and the Israelites found themselves 40 days into waiting and silence. Where was Moses? Didn't He go talk with God on our behalf? Why isn't he back? What must've happened to him on the way there or while he was there?
Both of the Bible friends I've brought to this conversation experienced waiting and what they perceived to be silence from God, but what they did with the time and silence is what's different. These responses also brought about different responses from the LORD.
We see two contrast responses to waiting and silence. We see obedience and we see disobedience. I see impatience and I see dedication. I see faith and I see distrust. I see upward focus and I see selfish focus.
I also want to point something out about waiting and silence. I'd like to pose a question. Was it really silence that they were experiencing in the midst of their waiting? It may have seemed to be silence to them, but as they lived in that silence God was doing something. God was working on their behalf. God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments because He loved them and cared about them. God was testing Abraham's faith and counting it as righteousness to him. God was moving, watching and working.
So maybe we are waiting, but are we really waiting in the silence that we claim? Is God really not saying or doing anything on our behalf as though that's how we feel? How are we stewarding this season? Are we walking in obedience or disobedience? Are we trusting God to be God or are we trying to take the wheel? Have we given another person or thing the place of God in our lives?
Take heart my dear friend, if you find yourself waiting in this season, for you wait in good company.
I want to leave you with these questions and burdens so that you can take them before the LORD in your current season. I want to encourage you with a couple scriptures and promises that address this season as well. Quote these scripture while you pray as you wait!
"The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him." Lamentations 3:25
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" Psalm 27:14
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning." Psalm 130:5-6
"Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you."
Dear friend, you are not forgotten. You are Divinely Loved.