God’s Silence Is Not His Absence

Have you ever wondered….

God where are you?

God why aren’t you answering?

Do you know?

Do you care?

I’m learning that God’ silence is not his absence.

All of our Christian life we’re prepared to hear God speak to us, but nothin

g prepares us for His silence. When our emotions are flooding our soul and we “feel” the absence of His presence, we can convince our frightened hearts with the truth that God is most powerfully present even when it seems like He’s most apparently absent.

Psalm 139: 7,9-12

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

15 Responses to “God’s Silence Is Not His Absence”

  1. Laurie says:

    I think he just doesn’t care. Just not good enough. May be rich and powerful but still he ignores me!

  2. Lisa says:

    I was taught to relate it to Easter. The pain and trials of Friday with the joy and celebration of Sunday, but all the silence of Saturday in between. Well, I’m tired of living in Silent Saturday.

    • Kirstin says:

      God will give you the very blessings you ask for, IF you refuse to go any further without them. This may seem like your forcing God into doing what he has said, but pushing ahead on your own will only add to the problem and then you’ll have to deal with the “lectures” on self will and acting independently of God. This turns into a vicious cycle of acting on your own out of desperation for an answer, frustration with silence, followed by guilt trips and reprimands from those WHO HAVE RECEIVED the promises. Who needs that? Sit still and refuse to move or budge until he acts on YOUR behalf.

  3. Peter says:

    That is incredibly comforting Pete. Thanks for the reminder. There have been many times in my life when I feel like God has been silent. Thankfully it hasn’t felt like absence. I think that absence and silence are just a few emotions away from each other. I can easily let myself fall into the trap of thinking that because God isn’t shouting my name Loud and Clear that it means that He has forgotten me. Praise God that He will never forget me, He’ll never leave me, or forsake me.

  4. dan says:

    This is something I have to remind myself of very often. Especially now, thanks.

  5. shauna says:

    i wish i could believe. but i cant. Though i do like to read some of what you say, mrpete. thx.

    • Anne says:

      I myself feel abandoned by God. I get so tired of waiting. I understand why people forsake Him as He forsakes us.

  6. Rob from London UK says:

    Hey guys,

    Really interesting looking through the comments and your thoughts Pete.

    I have just been spending a bit of time this morning thinking over a few things and it’s amazing how when we think God is not working for and with us, that He actually is. When we go through storms and challenges we can sometimes expect that we need to see some obvious sign from God (angels river dancing in front of us :) but actually what I am learning to take comfort in is that Gods signs are already ALL around us every day. He does not need to give us a sign (although this does happen, which is great) but his signs are already there, we just have to step out of our circumstances and see them. We only have to study the human body, or go and sit on the beach watching the ocean to see Gods signs. God is working supernaturally through out ordinary!

    • Anne says:

      I am tired of not seeing the signs. God does not leave signs for me; furthermore, He never answered the constant prayers for our father’s loan to be forgiven. He helped other people have their loans forgiven, but He never helped us have our father’s loan forgiven. Thirteen years have passed since our father took out the loan. After he died in 2005 my brothers and I were stuck with the loan payments. After we paid this loan off out of our pockets we were left poor, and the money we lost was never recovered. I have prayed constantly for God to help me with my financial situation, but He still does not budge. I keep waiting for Him to speak to me, but He remains perfectly silent. Since God refuses to help me I am thoroughly confused as to where I want to be, but I do not want to relocate to another state or town. I would like to stay in town, but I do want to move from my house of sadness. Where is God when I really need Him? I am exhaustedly weary with wait. How I wish God would show Himself in a big way to me!

  7. Jeremy says:

    The more I compare the words on the pages of the Bible with the reality I see around me, the more I realize that we have distorted the Truth. We so easily confuse temporary suffering with the eternal absence of God. Throughout the Bible we are enamored with telling after telling of purposeful suffering, suffering that ultimately proves and not denies the existence of God. For example, Paul endured great suffering, imprisonment, and beatings not because God was absent but because God was so very present. It was a result of Paul’s sufferings that many were drawn to believe in God. (Acts 16:25-35) This is dramatically contrary to our current perception of suffering and the existence of God? We all to often seem to forget that even the Son of God, Jesus Christ suffered greatly on the cross to the very human point of saying “Father why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) It seems though, that Jesus still knew that God would never leave him nor forsake him. (Hebrews 13:5) Please be reminded that God loves you, he is your ever present help. (Psalm 46:1) It could be highly possible that we have turned our ears, our eyes, and our hope away from Him not that He has removed Himself from us.

    Let me give you an example of this from my personal experiences…

    I was working with some kids the other day and they had me play Jesus in a skit, LOL, I know what you are thinking. They asked me to hide behind a chair and not “pop up” until it was the right time. They then proceeded with the skit as if I were not there at all. This continued all the way up to the point when I should “pop up and speak”. I was thinking to myself, man these little girls get it. They were so beautifully “writ small” illustrating that God is always in their midst as if He is hiding behind a little chair. He sticks out on all sides obviously so that we can see Him there, yet it is only at the time we want Him to appear that He is made evident to us.

    It is my hope and my prayer that God would be so magnificently glorified in you as you find yourself so intimately satisfied in Him not despite but because of your current circumstances.

  8. Pam says:

    Great read! Sometimes God wants us to spend a little more time in His presence before He speaks to us! Or, quietly listen to hear His still small voice! He is an Ever present help!!!

  9. Eleanor says:

    Lucille Clifton wrote a beautiful 8-part poem about this called brothers. In it she has the quote: “the silence of God is God.”
    —Carolyn Forche

    Here’s a section that particularly stuns me every time I read it:

    how great Thou art

    listen. You are beyond
    even Your own understanding.
    that rib and rain and clay
    in all its pride,
    its unsteady dominion,
    is not what you believed
    You were,
    but it is what You are;
    in your own image as some
    lexicographer supposed.
    the face, both he and she,
    the odd ambition, the desire
    to reach beyond the stars
    is You. All You, all You
    the loneliness, the perfect

  10. Jose HC says:

    Hits home. Good to remember. I think we have all experienced it when seeking God. Comforting to know He is there…

Leave a Reply