One of the things I’ve had to learn to be ok with is silence. At work, when I ask a question, there is often a moment of silence before someone answers. I usually count to 10 in my head before rephrasing the question. Silence either means they’re thinking or I asked in such a manner that no one is clear. Those moments when there isn’t a response are tough. The silence is deafening. It’s as if you can hear each heartbeat pounding in my chest echoing throughout the room. It can be uncomfortable too. That’s why so many people break the silence in rooms.
Sometimes when I pray, God is silent. I ask God a question and all I hear are crickets. That always scares me. I wonder if I have hidden sin or maybe too many distractions in my mind. I wait, but no reply. I wonder if I asked it the wrong way so I’ll try a different way. Still no answer. I’m learning that it’s ok when He doesn’t respond. Being in His presence is enough. He doesn’t have to give an answer to all of my questions. Just because He doesn’t respond, it doesn’t mean He isn’t there.
There are so many times when I desperately need an answer. I cry out to Him, beg for Him to hear me and wait for a response. As time goes by, I become more desperate in my cries for help. I doubt that He hears me or is even with me. It’s like the time in Mark 4:35-41 when the disciples were trying to cross the Sea of Galilee and a storm came up. The disciples cried out for Jesus to help them. They were greeted with silence from Him. Wasn’t He on board? Wasn’t it His idea to cross the sea at that time? Didn’t He care that they were about to die? Didn’t He hear their desperate pleas? Yet all they got in return was silence.
The storm raged on. The waves got higher. The wind became more fierce. Their cries for help grew louder, but Jesus was there with them. He was sleeping in the stern of the ship. His presence should have been enough to give peace in the storm, but they couldn’t find peace in the silence. They went down into the ship and woke Him up. They asked Him, “Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” We think the same thing when we’re greeted with silence. We think God doesn’t care. In reality, He does. He expects us to trust His presence in storms even when He’s silent.
When Jesus got to the deck of the boat, what was the first word He used? He said, “Silence! Be still!” Jesus called for silence. He wanted it from the wind, the waves and the disciples. He asked them a couple of rhetorical questions. “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I think He asks us the same questions when we panic at his silence in our storms. I think He wants us to trust in His presence as much as His word. We shouldn’t be afraid of the silence. We shouldn’t let doubt creep in when we don’t hear from Him. His presence speaks volumes. His presence is enough to protect us. His presence is enough to meet our needs. We just have to have more faith in Him.