I remember the first time I took my goddaughter to Disneyland. We had a little “pep talk” before we started down Main Street. We reviewed what to do if for some reason we got separated. We talked about talking to someone in a uniform that could help her, and I emphasized that she was to “stay put.” She was not to wander around trying to find me. I would come find her.
“Staying put” is tough to do when things are scary. Waiting for help is difficult. Our inclination is to move around, try things, lash out seeking answers, and try to take things into our own hands.
Waiting and listening are tough spiritual concepts, too. And this is especially true when we reach out to the Lord, and He is silent.
That is the situation Saul found himself in I Samuel 28. Verse 6 tells us that he inquired of the Lord, but that the Lord did not answer him. The King of Israel heard a “steady hum from heaven.” So, what did he do? The scripture tells us that Saul took matters into his own hands and consulted with a medium. Wrong choice.
The better choice for Saul and you and I, would be to recognize some potential purposes behind God’s quietness.
The first lesson we might learn is to see God’s silence as a season. It has a divine purpose. We need to lean into it, not ignore it. It is an occasion to move closer towards our Savior, not away in frustration. It is a time to watch and listen.
Secondly, we need to see His silence as an opportunity. It affords us a chance to make use of the divine “pause.” We need to use the time for self-examination, to review our motives and evaluate our choices. And if they are contrary to God’s Word, it is a time to repent.
And thirdly, the “hush from heaven” affords us a sweet opportunity to deepen our faith. It can be an incredibly intimate moment between us and the Lord. Distractions can be minimized in the quietness. Our focus gets clearer and clearer. It is a time to be still.
Lastly, we need to heed the same advice I gave my goddaughter. “Don’t wander off.” Stay anchored in what we know to be true. His silence can be very stabilizing if we just wait for Him. We need to stop struggling and accept His sovereignty. It is a time to renew our trust in God.
If God seems to be especially quiet in your life right now, might I suggest that YOU keep talking. Fill the space of silence with heartfelt prayer. Review what you know to be true. State your willingness to wait on a trustworthy Savior.
And keep listening. The Psalmist expressed it well. “For God alone, my soul waits in silence. My hope is from Him.” (Ps. 62:1) Truthfully, the steady hum from heaven can be a very good thing!
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.