I’ve been mulling over the idea of ‘when God’s silent’ for a little while. This morning, I was pondering the possibility that, in one sense at least, God’s never really silent.
I was thinking along the lines of ‘what would God say in this situation?’ rather than, ‘what is God saying in this situation?’. Does that distinction even make sense?
Let me give you an example. Lately, I’ve found myself saying to Joshua, our seven-year-old, ‘Don’t do that’, followed fairly rapidly by, ‘you should have known not to’. Because if I’ve told him something in the past, I generally have at least a vague notion that he might remember it in future. Of course, some of these nuggets of wisdom I share are concerned with his own safety; ‘umbrellas are not effective parachutes’, ‘running around in socks on a wooden floor can lead to pain’, that sort of thing. Others are more to do with boundaries; ‘my ipod is not there for you to play with every hour of the day’, ‘that’s my chocolate’ and the like. But when I say something, I like it to stick. [That’s not always the case, of course. I do occasionally come out with unhelpful stuff, or just complete drivel. Hopefully he’ll forget those bits pretty rapidly!] Of course the stuff I say doesn’t always stick… But the fact of the matter is, sometimes he’d be perfectly capable of working out what I thought, or what I wanted, without having to be told again. So those days when we get to school and I discover that he’s not bothered to pick up his book bag on the way out the door, well I find those days frustrating, and I don’t think that’s altogether unreasonable. Because if he stopped to think about it, he’d know from our interactions in the past what I want of him in the present.
And maybe the same’s true of me. Because God’s said plenty. And maybe expecting Him to leap in with direction on a daily basis is just a bit unreasonable on my part. Maybe if I feel that He’s called me to do something, or instructed me to behave in a certain way, I shouldn’t be expecting constant reminders. Ok, perhaps I should still be listening out for a change of course, but if He wanted me to head in a certain direction yesterday, chances are today might need to be heading in that same direction. If something was wrong yesterday, it may well be wrong today, without Him having to remind me.
So, for the record; ‘God, I’m sorry I’m such a moron when it comes to remembering your commands and your character. Thanks for being patient with me’
Of course, what this doesn’t address is question of God’s apparent silence through our pain and struggles. But having written the above, I think maybe that’s something for another post.