Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chapter Six- When God Is Silent

                                              Becoming A Woman Of Prayer-Online Study

Chapter Six-
When God Is Silent
(Becoming A Woman Of Prayer, © Cynthia Heald, June 2005.  Used by permission of NavPress, all rights reserved.

"But to You I cry, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer come to meet You. Lord, why do You cast me off? Why do You hide Your face from me?"
PSALM 88:13-14 AMP

**This is a hard story. Life is full of hard and unfair things and for me, it was a lesson specific to this chapter. 

It was about six years ago when my youngest sister shared with me that she was pregnant with twins. The emotions swirled in my heart with worry (she was unmarried), sadness (she wasn't walking with the Lord) and anxiety (one child is hard, but TWO?). 

It had been a rough few years with and for her and now she, like many of the clueless (myself included), would be unprepared for the role of parenthood. I've determined whatever your background or preparation, nothing can fully communicate the difficulty and blessing of being a mom. It's like trying to describe the sensation of a roller-coaster to someone. Not only can you NOT describe it adequately, but the experience may be different for different people even though it may be the same ride. 

When we found out in her 25th week that her "water" was leaking and that she had to be admitted into the hospital, the doctors didn't paint a pretty picture. Lot's of words were used to communicate that though they now were working hard to maintain the pregnancy, it was really early for her babies and hope was slim. So, when on February 7, 2007, we received the call from her boyfriend that she had been taken into an emergency C-cection because she was in labor and the babies were in distress, our hearts sank. While driving down to the hospital my kids and I prayed. She was 26 weeks and 2 days into her pregnancy. 

I'd dropped off my kids with my in-laws and hurried to the hospital to find out that Baby A, Brayden, was still-born and Baby B, Kameron, was in the NICU and needing assistance with his breathing.

When Mallory recovered from surgery to hear the news, there were no words that could comfort her sadness. She and her boyfriend and some of the members of each side of the family were there with her as they held Brayden, kissed him and said "goodbye" to a baby we never had the chance to know. It was a devastating day for them and for us who loved them. 

They next few weeks we prayed fervently for Kameron and visited him as often as we could and found hope in how well he was improving, until... there was another call. When he was 2 weeks old, Kameron had become very sick and gone into septic shock. Again, the worry, again the sadness and again the anxiety...."Lord, please give Mallory your mercy and reveal your power and save this baby. Please, save him and draw them to you..." was the prayer I personally pleaded with the Lord. It seemed to me, in my finite mind, that their hearts could only bare so much pain, that this miracle could be the "thing" that draws my sister and her boyfriend closer to God. 

It was four excruciating weeks later when Kameron died. We, with Mallory and her boyfriend, each held him in his last moments. We cried, we mourned, we felt hollow. Mallory later expressed, "I entered the hospital with two babies and came out with none." I wished I could tell her God's plan for her...I wished I could tell her how He revealed His purposes in this...I wished I had an answer. I didn't. 

I don't remember ever praying so passionately for something and felt "unheard". Though, in my mind, God's truths regarding His sovereignty echoed, my heart couldn't reconcile the "good" in this outcome. There are so many painful things in this life. So many things that we can't reconcile the "good' or see His purposes or even seem to hear His voice. 

This chapter discusses "when God is silent" which is fitting after studying a chapter on "His answers" I think. Cynthia breaks up this chapter and looks at Silence and Conviction of Sin and Silence and Deeper Intimacy. (1)

Silence and Conviction of Sin

This thought causes me to shudder that my sin should inhibit my prayers. But as you evaluate the scriptures, it is clear, that they do.

"If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;" PSALM 66:18

"Anyone who finds his prayers ineffective should not conclude that the think which he asks of God is not according to His will, but should go alone with God with the psalmist's prayer, 'Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me' (Psalm 139: 23-24), and wait before Him until He puts His finger upon the thing that is displeasing in His sight. Then this sin should me confessed and put away" 
R.A. Torrey (2)

Silence and Deeper Intimacy

Cynthia shares, "Job was an expert on God's silence. Job was righteous, yet God allowed Satan to afflict him. Job then cried out to God for an answer, but for A TIME (emphasis added) all he received was silence." (3)

God did finally speak and then it was Job who said:

"I am unworthy-how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth" Job 40:4 (NIV)

I realize that my will is not His will, my plans are not His plans and THANK YOU GOD that my ways are not His ways. When I don't hear Him, it does not mean He is not working. In fact, He is working to draw us to Himself so that He may reveal who He is. 

"We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them." -Charles C. West

I don't claim to know for certain which of these reasons God purposed in us, in Mallory or even in me during this time. Maybe both. I believe and my prayer is that as I draw close to Him, as I confess and repent daily and pray that He reveal more of Himself to me, the rest: my loved ones and I...are in His hands. Whatever "hard" this world brings could never compare to the pain or tradgedy of spending eternity without Him who offered up Himself for us. God gives us so much of His truth in scripture that, at the minimum, we have a wealth of evidence re: His promises, His faithfulness, His power and His will that we should never feel totally without knowledge of His purposes. He is God and I am not. 

I'm still praying for my sister that she may know fully the glory of God and pray that the Spirit of God moves in her to draw her more unto Himself. I also know, I'll see my nephews in heaven someday. I will recognize them and they will recognize me and together we will praise our God together in His perfect presence.

Heavenly Father, You alone are sovereign. You alone are God. You are my Creator, my Redeemer and my Sustainer. God, when I don't understand Your workings, let Your truth and Your promises reign in my heart. Let me reminded through Your Spirit that you have not forsaken us. Reveal to me any way in me that muffles Your voice...Help me draw closer to You so that Your voice cannot be mistaken. Lord, I praise You and am so grateful for Your grace.

10 Scriptures About God’s Promises

Do you hear from God? How? Is there a time when you have "suffered in silence" and waited on God to answer?

(1-3) Becoming A Woman Of Prayer, © Cynthia Heald, June 2005.  Used by permission of NavPress, all rights reserved. 


  1. Yes I believe I hear from God and there have been times when I felt I went unheard. In those times I have learned to stand on God's promises. Praying...believing...clinging to in hope that ALL things work to my good.

    Thank you for linking up with Blogging Through the Book. I hope you will do so again. Take care.

    1. Thanks for commenting Dana! Love God's faithfulness. We are never left without that!