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Monday, February 12, 2018

That Long Stretch of Silence

My parents were teasing me not long ago for my use of “Lola.” She’s my GPS. I have traveled back and forth across the country with her guidance. But my parents were right, if I had to use a paper map, I would've been in some serious trouble!

Thankfully, we live in the age of technology, where I venture to say, just about everyone reading this has had some experience with using a GPS. The concept is just wild when you really think about it. A global positioning system that knows exactly where you are on God’s green planet at all times! It really is amazing.


You type in your destination and set out on the journey. Lola (or whatever name you’ve given to your GPS) is happy to give directions to get you out of town and on the highway. Once you are on course, she goes quiet until it is time to give you the next instruction.  Living in the middle of nowhere, it is quite normal to drive 100+ miles in the exact same direction without ever making a turn. I know some of you can’t comprehend that, but out west, it’s a thing! It’s long. It’s flat. It’s boring.

On that long stretch of highway, you get lost singing to the steering wheel or conversing with your loved one as you drive off into the horizon. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a voice enters your vehicle telling you to "Exit right in one mile." It startles me every time! I forgot the GPS was on! 

God’s voice is kind of like a GPS. It has been for me lately. At one point I could hear His voice so clearly. He was guiding, giving direction, providing insight and helping me understand. Then it went quiet.

For the last six months I have grown quite frustrated by God’s silence in my life. Is He mad at me? Did I do something wrong? Why isn’t He answering me like He has before? Maybe you have wondered the same things. 

The answer is no. No, He’s not mad at you. No, you did nothing wrong. 

He’s not talking because you are right where you need to be.

You are on the straight and narrow highway that goes on for what seems like an eternity. The long stretch of silence seems to never end. Life seems dull and autopilot kicks in, much like it would on a west Texas highway. 

But, never does the GPS quit tracking your movements. Never does it turn itself off. It's with you the whole way. It talks to you when it needs to give you directions.

Have confidence that you have listened to His voice and obeyed. If He is quiet in this season, trust the words He has spoken to you previously. Trust that you are on the long highway for a while. He has not left you. He is not punishing you with silence. He is watching your every move and will chime in when it comes time for you to exit or to make a turn. 

If you are in the middle of  a desert highway with 74 miles to go, would it really be helpful for your GPS to tell you how to navigate the big city and reach your destination? NO! The timing would not be appropriate. Likely, it would just confuse you all the more. What you want is for the GPS to give you step-by-step instructions when you need them. 

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

If God gave you the rest of the instructions you were looking for right this second, it would only cause confusion, panic, and unnecessary stress; besides, it wouldn't make any sense. Trust His words. Trust His timing. If you're on that long stretch of silence highway, sing praises to His name. Jam out to the knowledge of who He is! When it is time to get your attention and prepare you for the new road ahead, He will do it. It will be the same tender voice that got you started on the journey. Until then, enjoy the scenery, you won't pass down this road again! 

4 comments:

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  2. I never use that, but maybe, I should try, right?

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  3. Wow. Thank you. I really needed this.
    I’ve been on that long stretch of silence for a bit now. I was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts because I feel so worthless and useless in this world right now. I almost gave up on God because I could only wonder, “Why would He not want to guide me or tell me what do to next?” or “Why does He want to waste all this time that I could be close to Him?” The only answer that fit was that He actually doesn’t exist. But I couldn’t believe it. Myself just wouldn’t let me. All the knowledge and everything I’ve learned and seen happen and even things that have happened to me before, just wouldn’t let me. There’s NO way He doesn’t exist, and I know that. I know He exists and now I know that I will never give up on Him because if I were to, I would have done it then.
    But even though His existence is confirmed in my heart, I just couldn’t understand why this is happening to me. Is He tired of me? Did He give up on me? These were some of the questions I was asking, along with the ones you did.
    I have been SO desperate to regain a close relationship with Him. I had one when I was 12, but sadly, it died away into a weak one, no longer on fire. That was when I hit the long highway of dead silence. And as the silence lingers, my faith gets tried harder and harder. That’s one of the only things keeping me trying and trying after God. “This is probably a test of my faith”....was the only thing I could come up with.
    Then my sister let me borrow her copy of Get Lost by Dannah Gresh. (Truly INCREDIBLE book!! I HIGHLY suggest that EVERY girl in this world read it!!) And I read your beautiful story in it! I was so excited for the Love Feast challenge. ANYTHING to get me back to being close to God. I’m willing to do, go, and give up ANYTHING He needs me to. Whatever it takes!!! I’m so sick of not hearing anything from Him. NOTHING. It’s just dead silence. I’m so tired of it. I want Him so badly!!
    And that was when I finally heard one thing from Him. On the day of the challenge where she talks about exclusive love for Him and getting rid of any idols in the way, I finally heard from God. He moved on my heart very strongly and revealed something in my life that I was depending on more than Him. It had become an idol. Very, very painfully, I realized and accepted what I had to do. So I got rid of it, as soon as I was done with the chapter.
    But I thought that would be it! I thought that after I had removed that, the relationship would be restored. Nothing blocking it anymore. No. I still haven’t heard from Him. I beg and plead with Him to talk with me. (Like I have been doing since this began.) To reveal if there’s is something that I’m missing that I still have to do, or give up, or anything! But He won’t reply. I would think He would at least tell me what I have to do to fix it...but nothing. Complete dead silence.
    Then I came to your blog because in Get Lost, Mrs. Gresh recommends us to come read your renewal vows to Jesus. (Very beautiful and inspiring!!) And then just before I closed the app, I saw - it MUST have been God - on the right side of the the screen under Blog Archive, That Long Stretch of Silence. I was tempted not to click on it because I need to get going with my day, but then I thought, “What if this is the answer I’ve been waiting for?” And so I did click on it. And I read it. And it was.
    So thank you. I really needed this.

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