It is a place I don’t like being, but I find myself there often. It is a lonely place; it is a scary place.
Maybe you have been in that place, too. Who knows, perhaps you are living in that place today.
You’ve trudged up a lonely mountain, sat cross-legged for five hours with a Bible in your lap, and prayed intently for answers until your knee joints are screaming. Or you’ve knelt endlessly at the altar, read the Scriptures and repeated the prayers; you’ve asked, sought, and knocked during every sermon, liturgy, and devotional reading you could find. You’ve waited in faith and expectation, shouting hallelujahs, whispering quiet amens, and pleading the Lord’s Prayer in a reverent refrain.
And there is nothing. Zip. The heavens are steely cold. The airwaves are silent. The divine Internet has run out of data. This is when you come to the full realization that you are in that place. A place where it seems that God is silent. A place where you feel like God is absent!
At this point, one could go into detail into what the ancient mystics poetically termed “The Dark Night of the Soul” or how God’s silence is a divine strategy to draw us closer to Him. Even though I love some of the ancient ponderings, I honestly don’t know why there are times when God seems distant and silent.
But I do know about those times; I know that place. And I know that some of the deepest conversations I have ever had with God have been when He went dark. So maybe God goes dark to encourage us to enter into a time of personal reflection. You see, I think that when we take that opportunity, we can receive what God really longs to offer us.
Oh yeah, I know one more thing. I know that when God seems silent, He is not absent! You and I are not alone, for He is with us even to the end of time…