I don’t usually rant here on the blog. I usually don’t rant about church signs or cliches, but forgive me today because I am going to.
You know that cliche you hear at church or see on church signs that says “If you can’t hear God guess who moved?” It implies that God isn’t the one who has moved, that you are.
I agree that there are times our actions or behaviors or sheer busy-ness of life can keep us from hearing God.
But here’s my frustration with this cliche. If we are a child of God we can not remove ourselves from God. We may not hear His voice. We may not sense His presence, but He is always with us.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:16
We all have times where we feel like God is not there. The feeling may last a few days or even months on end. We know He is there. But nothing seems to be going like we want it to. The right opportunity isn’t coming along. We feel abandoned by friends. Fill in one of thousands of situations. We know we are supposed to have faith yet discouragement seeps into our spirits. We just can’t hear Him or feel Him. We don’t sense the direction He’s leading. Praying during these times often feels pointless.
It doesn’t mean He has moved or that we have moved. We may just be going through a time of silence. We can be going through all the right motions and earnestly seeking God. But there is just silence.
Job experienced silence.
“If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling.” Job 23:3
David did also.
“Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Psalm 10:1
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Psalm 13:1
Here’s what gripes me about this cliche saying. It lacks grace. When we as Christ followers go through times of silence the last thing we need is made to feel like we are doing something wrong.
And here's the thing. I didn't show this grace to a friend recently despite having the best of intentions.
Sigh……I am thankful for forgiveness.
Have you ever had someone who even though had the best of intentions made you feel as if something were wrong with you when you couldn’t hear or sense God?