Sorrowful, Yet Always Rejoicing

 

An inscription found on a wall of a cellar in Cologne, Germany in WWII, where Jews were hiding read:

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining
I believe in love even when feeling it not
I believe in God even when He is silent

Part of me always feels guilty to admit I feel God is being silent. It feels disrespectful to God, who I know loves me so much and desires to communicate with me. Yet, there are times He is silent. And it is a piercing silence.

I read Job’s plea in 30:20, “I cry out to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me” and I can frustratingly and overwhelmingly agree. The longer the silence the more vexatious it is. In those silences it can be hard to wait.

But it is also in those silences that I have seen Him moving the most in my life. My perspective is one way and His ways are beyond my comprehension. My job in the silences is to look to His character, because one thing we know is that what He promises, He will fulfill. And He has promised that He will never leave us.

I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.
Hebrews 13:5-6

Oswald Chambers said, “If God has given you a silence, then praise Him – He is bringing you in the the mainstream of His purposes.” Basically Chambers points out that God has trusted us to remain faithful through those silences. He trusts that even without a visible answer, we are holding onto His promises.

Often when we lack something, it makes our desire grow stronger. It makes us desire something that only He can fulfill.

“We thank Thee, Lord, for weary days
When desert streams were dry
And first we knew what depths of need
Thy Love could satisfy”
-Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

So rather than feel guilty and frustrated, I am learning to embrace these silences, asking God to reveal what He would have me learn and waiting attempting to wait patiently for His guidance.

Maybe you are in one of those silences now. Don’t stop believing in His goodness. We have much hope in Him.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
-Hebrews 6:19

He never changes and His love never changes. He is our one constant. It is impossible for Him to leave us. He just won’t do it. What a relief to know that even in the midst of the silences, His love never fails and never gives up on us.

Sent

One of my favorite Bible stories happens to be a very cliché one. Yeah, I know, but it is what it is. I love the story of Jesus healing the blind man.

John 9:25, is probably my favorite of the whole chapter. I love it for a lot of reasons. It makes me smile every time I read it because I picture this guy in front of the Pharisees, just completely exasperated with them. At this point after being questioned so much, he is probably wanting to say, “Listen, I don’t know all the answers about this guy but I do know he gave me sight, and seeing is a lot better than not seeing.”

I just love this man’s honesty and candor (and sometimes sarcasm) all through the story. He doesn’t try to make up anything to appease the Pharisees, he just gives them the facts and nothing more. At that point in the story, he has his sight but he actually hasn’t laid eyes on Jesus. He simply has faith in this person who has saved him.

So often I am guilty of trying to word things in a way that is pleasing to others. Maybe I water down the truth thinking it will be better received or say a lot of big words in hopes my point will come across bolder. Sometimes I find myself feeling responsible to open people’s eyes and hearts to the truth. That just isn’t possible. I don’t have to know all the answers in order to share Christ and His love. And I certainly can’t open someone’s heart to receive this truth. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. My job is to make sure others know about Jesus and trust that God will use it to open the heart of that person.

Henry Blackaby says this about the disciple, Andrew:

There is no record of Andrew ever preaching a sermon, performing a miracle, or writing a book of Scripture. He is remembered for those whom he brought to Jesus. Andrew is a good role model for us. Our job is not to transform people into Christians nor to convict them of their sin. It is not our responsibility to make people do what they ought to do. Our task is to bring them to Jesus, and He will perform His divine work in their lives.

It is important people understand how Christ has changed my life. I want to make sure it is known that He is the light of the world and without Him we are blind (John 9:5). I hope I can simplify this in the same way the blind man exhibited such humbleness. I was blind and without hope. I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Jesus died a death I should have died and rose again in order for me to live. Life with Him is a lot better than life without Him.