In silence, His love

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I have been noticing a quiet but growing sense of unease and restlessness during prayer.  Almost a sense of pleading, disappointment, and hope mixed together, coming from a deeper place within.  Surely it is not something I am comfortable with, have wanted, or have invited in any sense.  But it is there.

Perhaps, it is the shadow of doubt lingering:

Is He listening?
Why is He so quiet?
Have I done or said something in my life that has offended Him and which I need to resolve?
What does He want of me?
What is His will for me specifically?
Why is He taking so long?

In any conversation with someone we expect a reply or hope for some sort of positive response.  But what if there is not any?  What if all we hear or feel is silence from the other?  Having experienced this with other people, I have always found it difficult to understand why.  I eventually let it go, but in all honesty it leaves me wondering.  Courtesy, manners, and acknowledgement of the other is a high expectation I hold onto even in this age of busyness.  But how do we cope and what do we do if the other is the Almighty Himself?

I know that I must wait, trust in the Lord, focus on praising Him and not on results.  For “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)  I know that my timing is not His timing.

I have always deeply admired those who say that they have a personal relationship with Jesus or that they can feel Him, or speak with Him, and hear His response loud and clear in their hearts.  I would dearly love to have that type of relationship with Christ Himself, personally.  I know that persistent prayer, reading the Word of God, faith in action, and enduring in trust is the way, but some days it is hard, as I feel the silence of heaven is my constant companion.

I live and work in a world where emails must be responded to, technical issues need to be fixed promptly, and people need to communicate to keep things going smoothly.  I love positive results, happy feedback, and nice endings.  So I want the same, and more, in my spiritual life.  Is it wrong to expect a closer walk with God, and more direct communication with Him?  I have tried to find it in many ways.

I have shelf after shelf filled with books about faith development, other people’s personal encounters with Jesus, miracles, and other religious topics.  This is a good thing.  Yet I, like so many, still long for a personal experience with God in my daily life.  Real life.  I have had some small ‘signs’ over the years, but I have come to realise that God generally does not grant big miracles upon command – after all, He is God and not us.  As the hymn goes, ‘We walk by faith, and not by sight, no gracious words we hear…but we believe Him near.’  I have also realised that what I have truly been seeking is His love for me.

It is there in nature, in the kindness of others around me, in the music I sing and listen to, in the delicious food I eat, in the restfulness of sleep on a comfortable bed, in the health I enjoy, in the job I am fortunate to have, in the peace of this country, in my family who are alive and with me, and in the tiny other examples of love that perhaps I have not been noticing enough.

Directing my thoughts, my gratefulness, and my thanks to Him for giving me these smaller things, while I still await His answers to the bigger miracles I hope for, is the key.

In silence, His love is enduring because He is love itself.

And that is enough.

In silence, His love is whispering, ‘don’t give up, I am still here’.

And that is enough.

In silence, His love is true because He created me and wanted me here.

And that is enough.

In silence, His love is like the rays of the sun, softly descending upon my heart.

And that is enough.

In silence, His love and answers will come in the fullness of His time.

And that is enough.

And so I trust and wait.

And that is enough.

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