One of the hardest experiences for believers who rely on God’s guidance–if not the hardest–is the periods when God is silent. Generally I respond to the silence with fear. I think I learned a long time ago that if I panic surely the God of my understanding will “rescue” me from myself. Needless to say, God can’t be manipulated. So, after a period of expending useless energy, I settle down for the wait.
GotQuestions.org has a great post about recognizing the voice of God. For me, when I’m sure it is God’s guidance leading me, one of the factors with the solution is that everything is worked out and not by me. Because it is hard for me to remember to keep myself in a positive direction, I have typed out a cheat sheet of things to remember when God’s guidance doesn’t seem to be prevalent.
Whosoever.org reminds us to first check our own motives. Is God silent or are we holding on to a particular outcome that may not be the right answer for us?
“Patience is a virtue. How many times in our lifetime have we heard this said? Yet, I will be the first to admit that patience is a hard trait for me to use easily. That is when I must rely on other areas (faith and belief) in order to remain strong. The Father hears all and will answer. My faith convinces me of that.”
“In addition to faith in the Father, I believe we must have the peace of mind and openness of heart to continue our daily routines, blessing and thanking Him for all the things that have been accomplished in our lives. No matter what may be left unanswered for the moment, there are hundreds, no – thousands, of things to be thankful for. Our mere existence, the sight and sound of those squirrels having faith and bounding from tree to tree, our health, our hearts, our families and friends who enrich our lives so. So, the next time you are left wondering if God is listening remember this short story of faith. Also remember that our Father has blessed us with many things – as surely as he will bless us again, and just as surely as he will answer our prayers.”
From Letting Go–Finding Hope through Al-Anon: “Spiritual Awakenings-The hard way”:
“From my own experience I have to endure some pretty major pain before I become humble and learn from my own mistakes. When I get to the other side I think “really God” couldn’t you just send me a note or an instruction book. Do we have to do this every time?”
“Instead I have to get to the point where I don’t care about anything. I am at zero an empty vessel waiting to be filled. It is the ultimate letting go where you have no answers or for me at this point not even any questions.”
“I feel bad for the minister and his family but we all have to work things out for ourselves. Nobody can rescue anyone. You might postpone the inevitable pain that someone must go through bur life usually catches up with you.”
“Postponing the pain inevitably postpones the spiritual awakening waiting on the other side.”
One of the main things that I remind myself is that God is a God of peace. If I am anxious or upset, I won’t be able to hear God’s whispering or His quiet urgings. Also, as Verla Gillmor suggests, this may be a period when God has taken His hands off our “bike” so that we can learn to ride with less guidance. Verla suggests that we receive four opportunities during these periods: (1) solitude, (2) surrender, (3) scripture memorization, and (4) authenticity and community.