God never gives up on us, but if we’re truthful, sometimes we give up on Him. Whether it be an intentional or conscious decision, it happens and our dialogue with our engaging God falls to the wayside. Sometimes for simple reasons, like our busy schedule. Other times it’s rooted in anger, fear, confusion or defiance. In those cases we take out our problems on God and when we don’t find the answers we need, we block Him out and set out to find them without Him. It’s the easiest way to deal with it, right? Give God the silent treatment while we lick our wounds or try to come up with a solution on our own.
My experience of these wilderness times, of which there have been two this year alone, is that it’s a lonely existence. I was created to be connected to the God who made me. Who knows me fully and loves me wholly, despite myself. During these low and uncommunicative periods I don’t really ask anything of God. I just carry on in my own independence because it wouldn’t be fair to only talk to Him when I need something. I mean He’s not a bloody genie, right?
Well, in my most recent bout of tantrum throwing and silent treatment, the joke was on me…
It had been more than a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months, since I had really given God the time of day. I was stuck because I so wanted to pray for my friends that were going through tough situations, and I wanted to reach out to them, but I didn’t feel I was in a position to. How could I share about a God that I wasn’t even talking to? And though I didn’t think I could pray for myself during this time, could I pray for others? Is that allowed? I was struck with sadness and confusion, so I wrote. I put it down in my journal with simple words. I didn’t pray but I reached out in a very passive way.
I didn’t expect anything but I got it off my chest. Then God did that thing He does; He showed up. During my work day a friend sent me an email with words that she felt compelled to share with me. Her encouragement could only have been God, for she relayed to me such specific encouragement that was so incredibly relevant, and that she couldn’t have known that I was struggling with. She lives in a different time zone, half a world away, and she was able to speak into my life. She stepped out in faith when I was being stubborn with my own.
When I’ve felt so far away from God and felt that He wouldn’t be able to find me if He tried, He’s spoken to me in the very way that He knows I will listen. In the two bad phases of this year, he spoke to me through people and they were spot on every time. People that are overseas and know nothing of what I’m going through, each time. He speaks in a way I can trust, and in a way that cannot be doubted. He knows what I need.
This propelled me forward in to a deeper and more intimate relationship of dialogue and studying. Our God fights for us and is always looking for ways to speak to us, whether we are playing our part or not. I have been so humbled and amazed at how patient and persistent our Father God is and that He doesn’t give up on us. If you have gone quiet on Him, reach out in the only way you know how. Or don’t. Either way, your silence won’t last long because God will follow you to the ends of the earth.
If there is anything I have learned from those seasons of little or no dialogue with God, it’s that His love for us is relentless and His faithfulness trumps our disbelief every time. So remember that even if you give up on him, for a day or a year, He will never give up on you.
How does God best speak to you? Do you ever struggle with your faith and keeping up consistent dialogue with God? What happens when you doubt?