Has God gone silent?

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. (Psalm 22:1-2)

I think we have all been in that place at one time or another where we find ourselves actually thinking God has somehow abandoned us. The circumstances suggest the worst is about to happen, we begin to whirl out of control emotionally, our thoughts are running rampant from one perception to the next, and we somehow feel like we are in it all alone. When we don't IMMEDIATELY see the answer to the circumstances, we might just begin to doubt God will lend any help, all our calls for help seemingly falling on deaf ears. Are we wrong to express our doubts or 'struggle of faith' in those moments? Absolutely not! God doesn't 'ding us' for our moments of doubt - he uses them to strengthen or deepen our faith.

It is never wrong to seek to understand why such difficulties have emerged and why God seems to be allowing us to experience such trying stuff. We don't know the purpose for the troubling times, but we can stand assured that God is not far from us as we navigate through them. He is right there - we just don't appreciate him in the midst of the chaos yet. Times are confusing and we want to express our doubts, but should we? Yes, it is never wrong to express our concerns and bring our doubts to God. He doesn't give us demerits for doubts - he is at work revealing how 'unfounded' those doubts are compared to the greatness of his power and grace in our lives.

We might think we have to understand everything to get through everything, but the opposite can be quite true. We might not understand much, but with God, we navigate quite well through unknown territory. One thing I have realized is that I don't have to 'fake' my faith. If I have doubts and worries, I need to express them. My heart is not hidden from God, so my thoughts don't need to be, either. God is not put off by our expressions of fear, doubt, or lack of understanding. He is encouraged by our honesty and the freedom we feel to express them to him. 

The way we seek to understand is important. We can ask for clarity out of doubt, but God asks us to trust even when the circumstances seem harder than we can handle. Trust him to bring the clarity - to remove the niggling fear and doubt. He will do much more than we imagine, but we need to be honest with him when we are struggling with fear and doubt. He doesn't want us to be overwhelmed - he wants us to be aware, alert, and open to his movement within those hard times. He hasn't abandoned us - he has just 'gone silent' long enough for us to express our need. Just sayin!

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