The housing market went a little crazy after the initial pandemonium of 2020. We decided that year to put our home of 10 years up for sale because our growing family needed more space. It took a few months to get an offer on our house, but once we accepted the offer, we started looking for our new home.
There were many disappointments. Finding a house that suited our needs was a challenge. Any house we made an offer on was quickly outbid because there were others looking for property as well. Hearing “no” over and over for months was discouraging, and it felt like God was silent in that area of our lives, despite all our prayers for wisdom and clarity. What we thought would be our next home fell through, and along with that, we had the death of dreams we had for the house. I prayed for a straightforward buying process every time we made an offer on a house because we just wanted that part of the process complete. It felt like God was silent.
Do you ever feel God is silent even though you cry and scream out your prayers? You find yourself desperate for answers why you’re walking through one of the toughest journeys you’ve ever faced—but God appears to be silent. We want immediate rescue.
Young children don’t have a wonderful concept of time. Recently, I was out with one of our children in town. When he announced he needed to use the toilet, I reassured him we would after we stopped at a shop quickly. My answer wasn’t enough for him—he needed to use the toilet right now! There’s always a sense of urgency with little ones. They need relief and they need it now!
It’s like the hard times we walk through. We pray for healing and deliverance—and we want it right now. We live in a culture where we desire instant gratification. When we walk through difficult times, we often want God to teleport us out of trouble, so we don’t have to deal with it anymore.
We love listening to audiobooks in our family. Over the years, we’ve had some favourites. However, sometimes we go through periods of time when the children don’t want to listen to a book because it’s too scary. My daughter, who has a vivid imagination, would often skip the scary parts when she listened to books on her own. She doesn’t want to imagine her favourite characters facing uncertain times, almost as if she’s facing those uncertain times alongside them.
But God wants to be there in the uncertain times with us. He wants to meet us in our pain and suffering. It’s why Jesus died on the cross and defeated death by rising to life again. He experienced temptation and suffering so that He could sympathise with us in our sufferings. Isaiah 53 describes Jesus as being well acquainted with grief. Isn’t it a comfort knowing He walks through our struggles with us, and not from a distant throne?
Pete Greig, in his book God on Mute, describes it well:
“Whenever life gets tough and we cry out to God for help, our desire is always to be airlifted out of the theatre of war. But more often than not, instead of airlifting us to safety, God parachutes down to join us in the muck and chaos of our situation.”
Many people around the world prayed for our son, Titus, before he died. There were many prayers storming the gates of heaven for miraculous healing. God didn’t give us our miracle, at least not from our limited human perspective, but God was right there with us, working in Titus’s life every single moment, providing for the rest of us.
We all go through seasons in life when God is inexplicably silent. Maybe we feel overwhelmed by trauma or grief. Maybe a difficult life decision is bearing undesired or challenging consequences. Or maybe we feel trapped in a situation in which there’s no obvious way out. No matter what your hardship is now, God will not forget you or abandon you. He’s not afraid of the muck and chaos of your situation; He wants to walk it with you! Let Him speak to your heart. Even though it might not feel like it, he will use your hard times to strengthen your faith.
“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away.”–C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces