Does God’s silence mean He doesn’t care?
Week 41 – Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers
VERSE: “When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days in the same place where He was.” John 11:6
OSWALD: “Has God trusted you with a silence – a silence that is big with meaning? God’s silences are His answers. Think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything analogous to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking for a visible answer?” – (My Utmost for His Highest, October 11th)
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How It Spoke to Me…
When I read Oswald’s words about God trusting us with silence, I thought of a story I once read in L.B. Cowman’s devotional, Streams in the Desert.
A woman had a dream where she saw three people praying. As they knelt, she watched Jesus draw near and approach the first figure, leaning over her tenderly, smiling and speaking “in accents of purest, sweetest music.” Then He proceeded to the next figure, placing a gentle hand on her head and nodding with “loving approval.” But what happened next perplexed the dreaming woman:
The third woman He passed almost abruptly without stopping for a word or glance. The woman in her dream said to herself, “How greatly He must love the first one, to the second He gave His approval, but none of the special demonstrations of love He gave the first; and the third must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all and not even a passing look.
“I wonder what she has done, and why He made so much difference between them?” As she tried to account for the action of her Lord, He Himself stood by her and said: “O woman! how wrongly hast thou interpreted Me. The first kneeling woman needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in My narrow way. She needs My love, thought, and help every moment of the day. Without it she would fail and fall.
“The second has stronger faith and deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me however things may go and whatever people do.
“The third, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect has faith and love of the finest quality, and her I am training by quick and drastic processes for the highest and holiest service.
“She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so utterly, that she is independent of words or looks or any outward intimation of my approval….because she knows that I am working in her for eternity, and that what I do, though she knows not the explanation now, she will understand hereafter.”
Dear friend, don’t be afraid of the times when Christ seems “silent in his love” (Zephaniah 3:17, DRA), when “He [answers] not a word” (Matt. 15:23, KJV). Because God is up to something more in your life and mine than just giving us the comfort of His voice. He is working in us for eternity. He wants to be able to say of us, “She knows Me so well…I can trust her with my silence.”
I love how Oswald Chambers describes the blessing of such times: “A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that the contagion of His stillness gets into you and you become perfectly confident – ‘I know God has heard me.’”
Is God able to trust you with His silence?
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I’d love to hear from you… How have you experienced the “contagion of His stillness”?