In the Silence
A GFA World staff member’s perspective on learning to trust God in a season of silence
STONEY CREEK, ON — Gospel for Asia Canada — Can you feel the silence? You are at a place in your spiritual journey where you feel like you are stuck in place? You don’t feel enthusiasm or passion anymore and you go through the motions of spiritual disciplines because you know you should and not because you want to.
I have been in this season for quite some time now. I don’t know exactly when or how it began, I didn’t notice until I was there. Then I began to feel as though my life had always been that way and always would be for the future. I can relate to the heart cry of King David from Psalm 13
“How long, O Lord?” — Psalm 13
I can’t hear Him, but I know He is with me.
I have never minded being alone. I recharge by myself and love activities, like taking long walks in nature, where it is just me and the beauty of creation. It brings peace to my soul somehow. But physical aloneness is different than spiritual aloneness. For me it brings anxiety. “What do I do? I must be missing something, doing something wrong. How did I get to this place? And more urgently, can I get out of here, now, please?!”
It reminds me a lot of a horse in training, learning to rest under pressure. The trainer puts the horse in a stressful situation and the only way it can get out is by remaining calm, relaxing, and just waiting for the next command.
The horse’s first and natural reaction is to run. It likely thinks: “Now I am going to die for sure! This silly human is trying to kill me, and I want to get out of here at all costs.” But gradually the horse realizes that when it stops running and fighting, the pressure lifts. It learns to trust that the trainer has its best interests and safety in mind and finds a place of peace and calm, by resting at his side.
I think God has placed me under pressure, so to speak, in a stressful training situation these past weeks and months by allowing silence, not giving answers and asking me not to run, but to rest. This has been incredibly challenging and painful for me.
This training session has played out in a few different ways. My health is one main area. This past year I have had some ongoing health challenges that have tested my endurance, my faith in God’s good plan for my life, and in all honesty, made me want to run.
The physical and spiritual aspects of our lives are very much intertwined. If one area is undergoing battle, then the other area will be profoundly affected. In the thick of things, though, it is hard to remember this. I questioned: “God, am I doing something wrong? If I just had more faith, more will-power, would I get better? Is this all in my head?” I have worked so hard to get well, visited several doctors, and don’t seem to be getting any answers or results. Not feeling well can easily lead to discouragement and it has been hard to keep a positive attitude.
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