God Can Be Silent: When We Want Him to Shout on the Support-Raising Journey

“’I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.’” Job 30:20 (NIV)

 When someone you love walks next to you through the trials and tribulations of life, there are times when they don’t say a word. They simply hold you when you cry or sit next to you while giving you the space to grieve. However, we often have a problem when God is silent simply because He isn’t visible to us. The “tangible” way we feel His presence is through Him speaking to our hearts or guiding our steps. Therefore, we can equate God’s silence with Him not being present to our needs.

If anyone had a reason to shout his annoyances to God, it was certainly Job. God even offered this godly servant to Satan to be tested, and Satan jumped at the chance—go figure—to do everything he could to ruin Job’s life and his trust in God. Through a good portion of Job’s tragedy, God was silent. The only company he had was the miserable dialogue from his friends. However, when God finally broke His silence, it came in the form of His powerful testimony. When God showed up, Job’s response was “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).

Many people can often feel abandoned by God on the support-raising journey. When things get tough, it can feel as if God is silent and not present to our needs. I’ve often had conversations with God saying, “Okay, God, I was obedient, now what? You’re not speaking. You’re not showing me anything, and I feel stuck with everything spinning out of control fast.” However, we need to take our faith lesson from Job and understand that, when God calls us to do something, His plans will not be thwarted.

Yes, there can be sin that gets in the way of us hearing God when He speaks or times when we deliberately take the wrong path and refuse to listen, but there are truly times when God holds us without speaking so we can grow on our own to trust Him more. He’s preparing us for our different ministries. It’s during these times we must ground ourselves in the truth of who God is and trust His sovereignty. Be prepared, because it’s out of the silence, God brings us to a place of worship, and out of that worship comes great things for Him.

  1. Confess any sin areas in your life that may be interrupting God’s voice.
  2. Read Job 38-41. Understand who God is and His sovereignty over everything, including our lives.

God Holds Our Worries: As He Provides on the Support-Raising Journey

 

“Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” 1 Kings 17:3-4 (NIV)

Being fed by ravens is a pretty crazy way for God to provide food for Elijah in the wilderness, and after the brook dried up, God told him to go to a widow who was about to see her last meal and ask for food. Even before Elijah’s big showdown with the prophets of Baal, God provided for him in the wilderness, and He met the widow’s needs in abundance because of her incredible sacrifice.

The support-raising journey can create a lot of worry for people—so much so, that many don’t obey God when He calls them on such an unconventional cultural path to do ministry. Many have a tendency to worry whether or not they’ll have enough money (often to keep their current lifestyle). People worry about asking others to support them financially. Still some worry if they’ll be able to get to their ministry in a timely fashion. This is often before the first step is even taken, and then it can snowball, if the journey gets tough.

Did you notice that the things we tend to worry about are mainly shaped by cultural expectations we place on ourselves and not from an eternal perspective? God called the prophet Elijah to go live in the wilderness beside a brook to be fed by birds. I’m pretty sure, even back then, that wasn’t a cultural norm. However, Elijah is a beautiful picture of God’s provision no matter how weird it may have been. Then, if the ravens didn’t top it, God used a widow on Elijah’s journey to show His care. This widow had nothing, yet gave her all.

Most wouldn’t bother her. It’s not culturally correct. However, if God hadn’t directed Elijah to the widow’s doorstep and if he hadn’t been bold enough to ask for food, both her and her son would’ve eaten their last meal and died. Does this not help you to see that God’s hand can be on others as well, and they need to be given that opportunity to be used by God through their sacrificial gifts?

Worries are grounded in the now—in appearances, in embarrassment, in security. We want to be comfortable, so we often worry those comforts will be taken from us. Elijah’s path doesn’t look easy to me. Technically, he could’ve “worried” about a lot of things, yet he trusted God. He didn’t care what others thought, about savings accounts, or where his next meal would come. God had that handled. Elijah kept an eternal perspective and was used by God in a powerful way. God is asking us to view our journeys the same way, because He has everything handled.

  1. What are you worried about? Offer these worries to God and watch how He provides.
  2. Be willing to abandon your comforts to God.