Waiting for a response...
After graduating from college this fall, I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s to come in the future. I’m in this in between stage in my life where I’m waiting to start a job, start a career but it’s just quiet right now. I mean it’s literally quiet because of the pandemic and our county’s shut down order, but I was mostly referring to feeling this quietness in a response from God in some of my life’s biggest questions and directions. I’m not sure about you, but I’m not used to quiet. My schedule was never too quiet and my settings aren’t usually quiet. But especially quietness from God, that was an unfamiliar situation. I always thought God was on the move in the world and in my life. If I were to describe this feeling it’s almost like if you sent God a text and He left you on read. But then you think God is perfect so how could he do that?
Being in a quiet zone is not a bad. Contrary to what the world says in our busy culture, there is a command from the Bible that tells us to “be still.” I’ve talked to many people who’ve had some sort of “identity crisis” when the world shut down for weeks due to COVID. It’s hard for people to live in the quiet because simply put, when it’s a quiet season, there’s nothing to post, share, or brag about.
What is uncommonly talked about in the Bible is that there is actually a gap between the Old and New Testament, that amounts to about 400 years. Scholars call this the Intertestamental period which started with the end of the prophet Malachi’s ministry and the beginning of Jesus’s story. Did that mean absolutely nothing was happening during those 400 years? Probably not. In that time we know that some religious groups known as the Pharisees and Sadducees as well as King Herod ushered into the scene. But we don’t know much about what God was up to.
If you ever feel that God is quiet, here are some things that I’ve learned to be true about God’s nature.
Learn to be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10). Sometimes we can’t hear God when we are too rushed and there are too many voices in our ears that are louder than God’s voice. Being still can sometimes mean reading the Word behind a closed door in your room and turning your phone off for 20 minutes. It also means that your mind and soul have to be still. It’s not just an outward stillness but an inward rest. That’s where the next verse in this Psalm perfectly informs us that in order to experience true rest, we must know that God is bigger than all other things of this earth. Our stillness is a result of being rooted in knowing that God is capable and bigger than all things we could ever stress about. If the noises of this world have made you lose sight of that, then start with taking intentional time to spend time with Him. Find that rest and find comfort in the stillness.
Do what you have been doing to pursue God and take it to the next level. If you’ve ever had a friendship for a long time, you might realize the more you know them the more time you can spend together and the more you spend time together the more you know them. If your relationship with the Lord is growing, you must be doing more to pour into that relationship. Imagine if throughout our whole education we only did 1st grade level homework even at 9th grade. Our level of potential and the reality we live wouldn’t be matched. This is the same for our relationship with God. If you feel that God is quiet, don’t confuse that for abandonment and don’t stop pursuing God. Make sure your God given potential and your reality line up. Whether that means seeking God more often throughout the day, asking mentors to speak into your life, or going out and sharing what God is teaching you. We are called to run after the kingdom of God and we keep running, we get stronger and grow.
Lastly the blessing is coming around the corner. Yes, for everyone, the blessing IS coming. If you feel that God is leaving you on read with particular prayers you’ve been praying, he is waiting to bless you with something unimaginable. Earlier I mentioned that the Intertestamental period took place between the Old and New Testament. 400 years later came the biggest blessing and gift in all of humanity: Jesus Christ. Although people then didn’t know that the baby born would be the savior of the world, looking back we can see that God was in the works through all of it. Though it’s not said in text, I can imagine that God used those 400 years to bring in the religious leaders into their position but also prepare the hearts of man to receive the greatest gift in the world. The Bible says that the Lord is able to do immeasurably, more than we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us (Eph 3:20). Although it may be quiet now, don’t close your eyes too long to miss the blessings God will be ushering into your life. I can confidently say, every time I prayed a prayer, the Lord either changed my heart or blessed me with something way bigger and better than I could imagine.