Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Quiet Presence

The hurt has invaded her heart and settled with a cold and darkness deep inside. She’s wept until the tears can no longer come. Words at once flooded her mind; questions and cries. Why did you allow this hurt? For what purpose will this serve? Do you even hear my cries, do you even know I’m hurting. Pleading for a reason she cries out wanting answers, wanting an explanation, needing to understand.

The anger has taken root and fueled his frustration. Fists raised he challenges to be heard, to be answered. Why did you let this happen? How can you see this as good? Answer me. Explain yourself. Prove to me you hear me, prove to me you are there. Demanding for a reason he calls out wanting answers, wanting an explanation, needing to understand.

One reacts with cries the other with shouts but both are hurting, both are looking for answers. They expected God to answer on their terms, in their way. They were asking for answers but all they found was silence. And in the midst of that they resolved that He didn’t care, He never cared. For if He really understood the anger and the hurt, if He really saw what their hearts were struggling with, He would answer, He would respond. He allowed them to hurt, He sanctioned the pain, He even knew it was coming and did nothing to stop it. And now when they come asking “why?” to understand the purpose behind the pain, when they strain their ears to hear His voice, they find nothing.

But the Lord never has to explain Himself. He isn’t required to justify His will, plans, or actions. God bends His knee to no one, least of all me. And so the questions deserve no answers. We aren’t promised to understand. We aren’t even promised to know why. God never has to clear His will with our desires or our wants. Omnipotence trumps any rights we have as humans, even as His children.

And so in the midst of the cries, in the rebuttal of the anger, we find silence that is often so defeating. For we feel that God doesn’t hear, that He doesn’t care to answer. The truth is that it isn’t silence that we’ve been met with, but the quiet presence of God. Our questions deserve no answers. We’re never promised to understand, only to be loved. God promises to never withdraw His presence, to freely give His Spirit, and to be our Lord and Savior forever. But He never promises to speak, to give an account for His will.

So when we come to him with questions and accusations, we need not listen for a response. He hears the cries, He feels the anger, and yet He sees the heart of what we are asking. Behind the cries, behind the accusations lies the real questions we want to ask Him, “Do you care? Do you love me? Do I matter to you?” And His answer isn’t in words but in His arms wrapped around us, in the strong presence of His strength, in the tender touch of His gentleness. For it isn’t by our ears that we hear God speak, it is by our hearts that we know He is there and we hear the answers to the questions we are desperate to ask.

Silence isn’t an easy response to accept. Faith isn’t a commitment of ease. To trust that God’s love and His presence are there even in the midst of silence is the basis of faith. And yet I find comfort that God was apparently silent with Christ in moments of His greatest anguish. We don’t see a dialogue between Christ and God in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ brings His questions, His pleas, and we don’t hear the voice of the Father giving explanation or answers. Instead an angel comes to comfort Him, and I can only imagine that Christ is reminded of the love of His Father, both for Him and for us. Instead of answers, instead of explanation there is the presence of the Father, the presence of love. Also on the cross when Christ cries out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" we don’t hear a response from God. The Son cries to the Father for answers and it is in His silence that we see God’s love. Words weren’t going to quiet the anguish of Christ, words weren’t going to explain the cost of salvation. God didn’t need to explain His solution for the sin of man, even to Christ. For Christ, being fully God, knew His will, but also being fully man, cried out to the Father in need.

So when silence is our only response from God and it feels like we are all alone and without answers, we need only listen with our heart to know His presence is there. For His love and care isn’t known by words, or confirmed by His speaking, it is promised and fulfilled by His unending presence in our lives.

15 Comments:

Blogger Ben said...

Truth.

I enjoy how you capture it. And you are right... God doesn't have to answer to us.

6/27/2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger Tim Rice said...

You speak truth; but as an earlier post of yours addressed, we often don't like silence. It can be too painful.

6/27/2006 12:27 PM  
Anonymous jes said...

I agree: I don't like silence. I prefer neon signs flashing in the sky.

6/27/2006 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kinda reminds me of the end of the Wizard of Oz. At the moment that Dorothy realizes what she was looking for she already had.

6/27/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

This post really blessed me. Thank you K-T.

6/27/2006 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Jayleigh said...

Amen!

And like Jes said, I like the Neon signs.

And I don't have them, and that's why I am terrified of this new chapter in my life. AND that's why I am speaking my faith. Saying things that are not as though they are, because in walking it, living it, speaking it, in the name of Jesus, it's as good as done.

**hugs**

Thank you for your encouraging words. I am praying for you, too.

6/27/2006 4:07 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Amen

6/27/2006 5:45 PM  
Blogger David said...

amen

6/27/2006 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was perfect reading material for me tonight. Thank you. C

6/28/2006 12:33 AM  
Blogger Eddo said...

"But the Lord never has to explain Himself. He isn’t required to justify His will, plans, or actions. God bends His knee to no one, least of all me."

So true, but sometimes hard to grasp.

6/28/2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Bobby said...

Very true -- faith isn't an easy commitment. Well said.

6/28/2006 9:36 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Humbling.

6/28/2006 10:13 AM  
Blogger Aim Claim said...

"Faith isn't a committment of ease"... WOW... so well put!

I love your precious heart Katie.

What a great post!

6/28/2006 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!! this is such a blessing. I really needed it. Thanks! - cherie

7/07/2006 2:55 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

thanks cherie

7/07/2006 3:10 PM  

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