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In Seasons of Silence

As I write on this beautiful, rainy day in the Pacific Northwest, I am reminded that because of all of the precipitation we receive here, the flowers bloom and the grass stays green all year round. We are truly blessed, not only in nature but also in all of His immeasurable ways every day!

I think of our great-grandson Caeden and his very first Easter egg hunt this year. It was so cute and so funny as he ran around the yard saying, “I found it!” “I got it!” “Oh! Another one, and it’s wellow” (yellow), and “This one is buu” (blue). Even after finding two full baskets of eggs, he was still looking!

Just like Caeden, we should always be looking for more of God’s blessings, hugs and love to put in the baskets of our hearts every day.

The Lord dropped in my heart just this week that we can spend our time either delighting in His presence or drowning in our own problems — which most of the time we can’t actually change or fix anyway. Only He can do that, and He will!

There are seasons when being still and quiet demands a significantly higher amount of strength than actually acting. Composure is often the greatest sign of true power. Paul put it best when he said, “None of these things move me” (Acts 20:24 KJV). He didn’t say, “None of these things hurt me.” It is one thing to be hurt and quite another to be moved. But the Apostle Paul was determined not to be moved from what he believed.

The reason we are so often dismayed and discouraged by difficulties is that we expect them to be removed before we continue. We stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles. In fact, many times the silences of Jesus are just as powerful as His speech and may indeed be a sign of His trust and approval of us as we go through the challenges of life.

Consider an old and beautiful story that illustrates this very same truth:

A Christian woman dreamed that she saw three others at prayer. As they knelt, the Master drew near to them.

As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her in tenderness and grace with smiles full of radiant love and spoke to her in accents of purest, sweetest music. Leaving her, He came to the next, but only placed His hand upon her bowed head and gave her one look of loving approval. The third one He passed by almost abruptly without stopping for a word or a glance.

The woman having the dream said to herself, “How greatly He must love the first one. To the second He gave his approval, yet with none of the special demonstrations of love — only a gentle pat on the head. But the third woman He passed abruptly without a nod or a glance. I wonder what she has done to grieve Him so deeply that He passed her by. Why did the Master make such a difference between them?”

Then the Lord came to her side and said,” Woman, you have misinterpreted Me. Listen and I will explain.”

“The first kneeling woman,” He began,” needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in the way I have chosen for her. She needs My help and care every moment of the day. Without it, she would falter and fail.”

He continued. “The second has stronger faith and deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me, however things may go and whatever people may do.”

“Finally,” He told her, “the third, whom I seemed not to notice — and even to neglect — has faith and love of the highest quality, and it is she I am training for more difficult 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. She is not dismayed or discouraged by any circumstances through which I arrange that she will pass. She trusts Me when sense and reason and every finer instinct of the natural heart would rebel — because she knows that I am working in her for eternity and that what I do, though she knows no explanation now, she will understand hereafter.

“I am silent in My love because I love beyond the power of words to express, or of human hearts to understand, and also that you yourself may learn to trust Me in Spirit-taught, spontaneous response to My love.”

Dear ones, He will be able to do wondrous things in us and through us if we can only learn the mystery of His silence and to praise Him for every time He withdraws His gifts that we may better know and love the Giver.

And always remember, He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebr. 13:8), and will not withhold any good thing from us (Psalm 84:11)!

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