English Article:When God is silent – Finding rest in him | Jobin Sam Varghese
When no one understands the agony of your heart- God is calling you to find rest in him!
You might be going through a rough storm in which even your closest acquaintance isn’t able to comprehend it nor comfort you – or you may be in a situation in which your heart is so much sunk in pain that you’re not able to express those ambiguity/storm/fears and you suffocate deep inside and you are crying “How long Lord?? Where are you, Lord?? ” You find yourself out of energy to take another step and probably wondering if at all God is even hearing my prayers and seeing the agony – you’re so close to giving up!
Highlights of the article –
- Through the Season When you don’t hear from God
- When your strength is failing
- Life of Hannah and the Canaanite women
- Finding Rest in the God
The Season when you don’t hear from God
While you go through a certain season of life – standing there in that cross-road – fearing if those rising storms would drown you and you have these desperate prayers. Like Probably how David and Job prayed/ cried out…
Psalms 13: 1-3
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death
Job 23: 2-3, 8-9
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand[a] is heavy in spite of[ my groaning.3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
I am talking of the season of time where you felt like the disciples when “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38) or maybe like the way Jesus didn’t turn up while Lazarus was critically ill – even after he is being informed.
In those moments you may feel so helpless and probably so lonely, but the Bible assures that God is still in control in all of the above situations as we read /understand how God comes through the storm in his perfect time and worked out all things beautiful.
His love for you is beyond your seen sight- I love this song “It may look like I’m surrounded But I’m surrounded by You” – God is working for you and engineering circumstances on your behalf in various places – that’s beyond your visibility – You may recollect this story where the servant rushed to see prophet Elisha and informed him the number of enemies who have surrounded their camp; Elisha’s response is interesting –
2 King 6: 16-17- “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them7 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Even while Abraham was climbing up Mt.Moriah he never saw the lamb God had prepared for him, Joseph after the initial the dream had not heard anything specific from God while he was thrown into the dry well/prison. So is it with many characters in the bible.
Remember this – “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous.” – Psalms 1:6
Even while you walk through the path of darkness, KNOW that you are still in his radar!
Below is a promise God assures us…
Isaiah 30:20 – 21
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes, you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
When you reach those point of the dead end, you will begin to see God giving you his word in your heart for the next steps. Remember the old hymn “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light to my path” He will reveal his will and purpose towards you – perhaps not the path line – but for the next step – just move forward with it and when you reach next, he will tell again, till then keep walking with what God has spoken to you!
When your strength is failing
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”- Psalms 73:26. As you walk through and when the darkness prolongs- you start discovering your flesh is falling apart; you feel like all your energy is oozed out. Apostle Paul had something similar to this encounter.
2 Corinthians 1: 8 – 10
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him, we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.
God leads us to the situation where we can’t push ourselves forward by our understanding and might, which would lead us to our knees to trust in God and believe in his power. As we read ‘The righteous shall live by faith’, we also start to realize in more practicality that men shall not just live by bread – but the word of God! This is only when we start to realize the greatness of his grace over our lives.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk talks of the situation when all the reasons of hope vanished and it looks deserted, but we see the irony here which Habakkuk tells – he is only going to rejoice in the Lord – he mentions the strength in a metaphorical way of a deer – when you walk through the deep waters or the slippery path – focus just on God – his grace is sufficient – he holds by your hand and will lead you forward.
Give it a few minutes to meditate through the below passage –
Isaiah 40: 27– 31
27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, The Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Give it a minute – Haven’t we too been in this situation – asking God – “Do you know what’s happening in my life – the the difficulty I have to endure with” – God is urging us to have our focus on who he is and on what he can do in our life! Even when the young go out of strength – again referring to the weakness of flesh – God promises us his strengthen even as we wait upon him – be still and know that he is Lord!
“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7 – Let’s pray for that peace of God to reign over our lives and that’s which is beyond our circumstance.
Life of Hannah and the Canaanite women
From an outset, Hannah’s life might not have been that miserable. She had a loving/ understanding husband – who never divorced Hannah despite her barren – instead, he tried to console her and gave her additional care – showcasing on how much he loved her – but those comforting words/acts couldn’t comfort the pain she was battling within. You maybe at a point where you are not able to connect with anyone – The long periods of unanswered prayers – we may connect with this – going to church/kneeling in prayer – days just go forth – with probably not even a sign back from God! You just keep hearing the testimony of how God is been working in everyone else’s life – people just get things – even before they ask – each time you pray – the agony and tears just roll down!
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle You have recorded each one in your book.”- Psalms 56:8 (NLT) – When those tears roll down – it’s not just falling to the ground – to your clothing – it’s rightly collected in Gods bottle – He is there with you in this journey – God is cooking up something very special for you – We don’t find Peninnah tarrying on the Lord for having children – she just has an easy cake-walk – but we also don’t see any mention forward in the bible of her kids! While Hannah – long waited – son – Samuel – became the most prominent prophet in Israel – had two explicit books in the bible of his ministry – This is again similar to the story of Lazarus – Jesus didn’t turn up while he was ill – despite the fact that he was informed/ requested – Mary tarried with great hope that Jesus would turn up – There house in Bethany is termed as a house “that Jesus Loved” – after all this while of being/serving Jesus – he just didn’t turn up in their most needed time – they prayed for healing – but God planned a resurrection – This miracle of Jesus stood apart from all the other ones he had done – we see Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law and other – but in the house of Bethany – the house he dearly loved – he had something exclusive- the season of waiting on the Lord will not go in vain – God is preparing you for things that are beyond you – his kingdom and his glory to be revealed in this earth.
The Canaanite women ( Mathew 15: 21- 28)
In this story, we read the desperate cry of a mother – who was begging Jesus to heal her daughter who was demon-possessed – we notice that Jesus did not initially respond to her plea and the disciple advised Jesus to send her away – for which she was desperately behind Jesus.
We read below conversations they had
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Here we see her acknowledging that she is a worthless “dog”- Through this period of silence we go through, God is bringing us to the understanding that we can’t do anything on our own. For the word says it’s not by might or strength but by the Spirit of the Lord. The challenges we face today in the life journey – can’t be overcome with our calculations and strategies. It’s only by the grace of God. If you are going through such a season – can you get on your knees and submit your weakness and your vulnerabilities to God and have the understanding its God and him alone who could lead you forward.
Finding Rest in God
In the world we live in – there is always a battle we have – in those times when we don’t hear from God explicitly – God is still wanting us to find rest in him – knowing he in control – just lean upon him – you can never wait on God without trusting in God – do we recognize who is holding our hand – God is more concerned about your life – or must tell he is responsible for you – for your entire life – he would connect the dots in his time – would we trust in God? Just knowing he will not leave you mid-way – he will complete his purpose that which he has over your life! We read in the life of David – even while he flees for his life – hiding in caves/forest – he kept thanking and proclaiming Gods goodness over his worries and anxieties… Jesus gives us the below assurance in Mathew 11: 28-31
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Conclusion note and Prayer-
You might be going through a hard phase – not knowing where are you heading up – and perhaps a season where you are not explicitly hearing anything from God – Would you still hold on to his word and promises, he has spoken over to your life? – may you hold to that – God has not forgotten you-you are engraved in the palm of his hand – “ I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living ”- Psalms 27:13
Let’s pray – Lord I ask for your grace in my life – even as I sail through this season of ambiguity – Lord I can’t push it forward with my abilities – here Lord I surrender myself – may your will and plans towards my life be revealed – let me hear your voice – I trust you Lord – you have the best in store for me – open my inner eyes to see your wonders and provision you have for me – even though this season of time – I trust you, Lord – help me to believe in you – In Jesus name – Amen!