It happened in an instant. I had just strolled hand-in-hand with my sweet Jesus through one of most intimate seasons we’d ever shared, but now my direct line to heaven seemed snipped at the source. Try as I might, I couldn’t quite splice the wires of my prayer life back together. Silence hung in the air like a thick cloud threatening to engulf me. And all the while the enemy of my soul taunted me with ludicrous lies.
Interludes of silence with our Savior shock us when we’re not prepared for them. Silence makes us squirm with discouragement and doubt. We wonder what we’ve done or failed to do. And in our solitude we feel not only forgotten, but forsaken.
When we're surrounded by silence, we can re-visit the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26) and know that we're not alone in our affliction. For it's there we find the fullness of Jesus' humanity. And it's where we can remember He understands exactly how we feel.
Jesus didn’t put on a plastic smile and pretend He wasn’t distressed by His looming crucifixion. The agony of His impending death forced Him to contend with His feelings. Jesus understood the importance of fellowship in suffering and shared His emotions with His disciples. He asked them to watch and pray while He went before the Father.
As drops of blood splattered the ground where Jesus lay prostrate, He prayed three different times for His cup to pass. And each time He fully submitted Himself to His Father’s will.
In every instance God’s response was the same—silence. God knew that rescuing Jesus would forfeit victory over death not only for Him, but for all who would ever believe. God chose the eternal over the immediate.
Silence is often a difficult response to bear as believers. Waiting on God may frustrate us, but silence makes us feel abandoned. Jesus’ example proves we can surrender even when God seems silent because His will is always better than our own.
Maybe today you feel forsaken by God. The all too familiar words My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? (Matthew 27:46) reverberate through your soul as you watch your life unravel. Turn your eyes to Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith, and remember "not to be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you." (Deuteronomy 31:8)
I'd love to have the opportunity to pray for you if you're amidst a season of silence. Please share your request in the comment section below.