Friday, October 17, 2014

Stifling Silence

Sometimes, God says go and it's hard to walk away. There's so much in the presence of Jesus that we want to hold onto; how will we find Him again in a new place? Sometimes, He says come and it's hard to draw near. There's so much in us that we're hoping to hide; what if we are found out and found wanting...or found enough?

But perhaps the hardest words to hear from Jesus are no words at all. There are times when He is painfully silent, when the answer is neither go nor come. Then what?

I'm one of those persons who wants God to speak. A lot. Particularly as I grow into the calling He's placed on my life, as I try to take those faithful steps toward the place where He is leading me, I'm always looking, always listening, always waiting on God to speak, to tell me that this next step is the right step or to tell me when to turn away or to tell me when to wait a minute or catch a breath or bow in prayer. It sounds like a holy thing, for sure - knowing where God wants you to go and being tuned into Him as He tells you how to get there. But the truth is that He doesn't reveal all the details, He doesn't have a comment on every step. 

Some things, you just have to do in faith and trust that they're getting you there.

There are a couple of truths embedded in that statement, both of which are vitally important. The first is that you do sometimes have to do some things in faith. You have to figure out what's good and what's bad and come to the conclusion that if, in your heart, it is pure, maybe it's okay. (And even if it is impure, it may still be okay.) God's expectation is not that you're always right; it's that you're increasingly faithful. That's what He wants from you. So if you don't know whether to come or go, to turn left or right, do whatever seems faithful and God will reward that. Just know that sometimes, the reward is to learn a valuable lesson in what it means to go the wrong way. 

The danger if you don't do something is that you'll do nothing. You'll just stand there, stuck. You'll stay there, in one spot, waiting on God to tell you which way to go all the while hearing Him scream, simply, Move. Our relationship with God is supposed to be many things, but "paralyzing" isn't one of them. There's certainly a time and place for hesitation, for stopping to take a breath, for diligently considering the fork in the road before you, but there's also a time to move. We are guilty of often confusing the two and standing for what feels like an eternity at a crossroads when what we can't see is that either path would be blessed. Either way would work. We just have to move. 

The second truth coming out of the above statement is, to me, more powerful. Maybe it's just the season of life that I'm in right now. Who knows? But that truth is this: sometimes, you just have to trust. And a movement. 

Trust is something you do, whether you're doing something else or not. Trust is something you do whether you're making a move or taking a stand. Trust is something you do with one foot in front of the other or both feet firmly planted in indecision. Trust is something you do in the moving and in the hesitation. It's a very real thing, and it's a very real thing that requires doing

This is perhaps hardest for me, particularly in a season of moving. I can see two roads diverged before me and think i ought to take a step in faith and journey on down one of them, but sometimes, I feel that hesitation welling up within me. I realize that whatever step I've wanted to take has been faithful, but faithful only to my vision of myself. I have not wanted to take that step in faithfulness toward God, but in adherence to my own plan, to my own scheming, to my own desires and comforts and wishes. Then I stand there for just a little while longer and maybe what I hear is that the path I'm supposed to take has not even shown up yet, that I can't see it from where I'm standing because it's still being built back toward me. And the move I'm supposed to make, the thing I'm supposed to do in this trust. 

Or sometimes, I have to take the path that feels least faithful to me. The one that seems to be leading away from everywhere I wanted to go. You've seen the cartoons, right? Sometimes, I have to take the path that doesn't have the rainbow at the end but is instead lined with trees that look like monsters, thick underbrush, and a hovering darkness that warns of its impending doom. Here, again, is that whisper: trust. Trust, again, is the move I have to make. 

The same is true for all of us. Sometimes when we're most itching to do something, to get going, to step out, to make a move, that something that we have to do is trust. Trust no matter what our feet are doing, whether they are taking that faithful step forward or they are hesitating for a moment. Trust no matter what. Trust that if we take that step, God will be there, and if we aren't supposed to take that step, He's already right here. 

And trust...that you're getting there. You're really getting there. Whether it feels like it or not. Whether this is how you planned out your journey or not. Whether it feels like this fits with the big picture or not. You're getting there. Every faithful step you take is getting you there, even if that step comes neither with a come nor a go. Even if that faithful step comes in the silence where the only clear word that you have is move. It's getting you there. You're getting there.

God is getting you there. 

So move

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