Silence

This blog post has no answer and it has no real point, except that God is good and the only solid Thing in my life. 

I flail like a buoy in a storm that seems to have no end.

Perhaps, some days, I can keep the tossing of my soul under wraps. I can shove it hastily in a box, stick it in my closet, and scurry like the Mad Hatter on the temporary business of the day.

But most days, despite my attempts to suffocate it, to will it into submission, my somehow angry, frustrated, bitter soul snags loved ones close by with a left hook.

I say “somehow” because I really don’t understand what happened.

I was walking close with God. I could feel His presence in my every moment. I breathed in and smelled His glory in the summer air. I heard His praises in the quiet still of my jobless monotone.

And then I landed a job.

I thanked Him! I couldn’t believe He had answered my prayer after many weeks and months of desperately wanting to work.

And then He was silent.

I continued to get up early with Mister, to make some coffee and oatmeal with apples, to do the dishes, to feed the dog. I continued to ready myself for work and left at a reasonable time. I continued to work hard all day, breaking for a brief nibble before diving back into invoices and spreadsheets. I continued to smile and laugh and strive to show the joy of Jesus to my boisterous, lighthearted coworkers. I continued to come home with swollen ankles from sitting all day, to grab the dog and her leash and run our hearts out, to try and have dinner ready for Mister, and to shower and sit with my feet up on the wall.

All before going to bed and starting over.

And I started to notice that God was silent.

I couldn’t readily hear His still, small voice. I didn’t leap to read His words. I often forgot to pray.

And He didn’t pursue me.

Perhaps I was angry because He didn’t pursue me the way I wanted and expected Him to. Perhaps I subconsciously thought to myself, “Well, if God’s not going to put any effort into this, I’m sure as heck not going to.” I say subconsciously because, let’s face it, I would never utter those words and survive the instant conviction of the Holy Spirit unscathed.

But perhaps, through my human inclination to commit sins of omission, my subconscious uttered it.

I thought, for a few days, that all I wanted to do was punch Mister in the face.

For no reason.

But my inner turmoil had reached such a frightening peak that I thought for sure I would.

It’s usually when you’re about to do something completely ridiculous, like punching a loved one in the face, that God swoops in with a 2×4 and hits you first.

I can’t exactly pin down this 2×4. But after an unorganized sermon presented by a man who was not a preacher in a church that was not my own, I felt stricken and ashamed. Instead of boiling, furious that the God of the universe wasn’t paying attention to me, my spirit felt crushed, like a spider thwacked heartily with a newspaper and left to crumple up its legs in a sad and sheepish way.

I turned to Mister, the man whose face I wanted to punish for my inner, quiet, and deadly sins of omission, and begged him for forgiveness.

And then I read A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken.

And then I began to read articles and blog posts and devotions again.

And now I’m writing again, my not-so-secret and unique way of working things out and renewing my desires for Christ.

I’ve been selfish and proud, assuming God would want me when I refuse to pursue Him wholeheartedly. I approached His throne with arrogance and conceit, like Mr. Darcy insolently thinking Lizzy Bennet wouldn’t dare refuse his proposal despite his obvious displeasure in it. I demanded attention from Him while letting my adoration for Him slack. I had excuses for not worshiping Him and blamed my sin on His silence. It is amazing I was not struck down like a wayward weed in a garden.

My soul still churns, because I live on earth, but God is not so silent, and He will not leave me here alone. Not because I don’t believe apostasy is real, but because I remember asking Him to not let me be apostate, followed by a swift kick in the pants from the Spirit.

Pray for me.

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4 thoughts on “Silence

  1. I think we’ve all been there at times. I know I have. But God’s goodness will wash it all away in time, then you’ll wonder what all the fretting was about.

  2. “I’ve been selfish and proud, assuming God would want me when I refuse to pursue Him wholeheartedly. ” — there is never a time when you can have earned God wanting you, Hannah. The crushing beauty is that He wants you, period. It’s time that makes you realize that even when you’ve been proud and selfish, nonetheless you belong to Him because He has wanted you from before the foundation of the world. Even wholehearted pursuit on our part wouldn’t do any good, because the loving and wanting and pursuing is always totally on God’s side. He loves you.

    1. Perhaps it’s the little legalist from pre-saved me… I struggle most with the balance of not earning my salvation and not excusing myself with coy claims on God’s grace uncoupled with repentance.

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