“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.”
Silence Is Golden
Silence isn’t always a bad thing, though in a world that is constantly moving and seemingly never sleeps, it’s sometimes a rare thing. If you’re a busy mother with little kids running around the house all day, you may even long for silence. However, when silence comes to us in our relationship with God, it is often misunderstood. When spiritual silence falls upon us we are quick to assume God isn’t listening. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
In Psalm 42, the Psalmist is experiencing the silence of God. He isn’t feeling God’s presence and as a result his soul is feeling despair. His opening words speak of how much he longs for God’s presence, as much as a thirsty deer longs for a cool drink. It’s in that moment of despair, he asks himself the right question – why? “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?”
Don’t Stay In Despair
Despair is a natural human emotion, however, it’s not one we are meant to dwell in. In his despair and believing God to be silent, the psalmist actually hears from God; it is God who reminds his spirit that he will have hope again. He remembers the faithfulness of God. He knows God will not leave him alone forever.
God never leaves us alone. His promise from of old is that He will never leave or forsake us. When we feel alone, and despair that God is not with us, it is because of one of two reasons. First, God has not moved, we have. We have allowed ourselves to be drawn away form God by the world. Second, God’s silence can mean that He has a greater purpose for us, but we aren’t ready to hear it. Either way, God’s faithfulness is reminding us to hope in Him, even when that hope seems delayed.
God is always speaking to us, if we will stop and listen. Lent is a great time for listening to God, a time to slow down the busyness of our lives and meditate on Him and His Word. God’s Word is filled with what His Spirit wants to say to us, but like the children of Israel were not ready, so to0 we are not always ready to hear it.
Listen Through the Silence
“The Sound of Silence”, was a hit song in 1964 by the pop artists Simon and Garfunkel. The song had a kind of prophetic warning to it about the real nature of silence. The last verse says:
“The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Silence isn’t always bad. In fact, sometimes it’s golden. Silence can be God’s chosen way of communicating with us. Sometimes we need silence to remind us to wait on God. Let’s face it, we can tend to get in a hurry and do things our own way.
I hope you’re finding times of intentional silence this Lent so that you can concentrate on God. But, if you’re silence is not intentional, if you’re feeling despair, and that God is silent with you…remember His promises. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He will always – raise you from the ashes.
Grace & Peace for a Holy Lent,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”