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  • Writer's picturePayton Tilley

Pursuing God when He Seems Silent

Recently, I stumbled across the verse we all know and love from Proverbs. It encourages us in hard areas of life. Unsure which one I'm referring to? This one:

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

That verse popped up in my Bible reading about three weeks ago and I clung to it. God, I want my path straight, I thought. I want to know Your will in so many areas of my life. I prayed it over and over; alongside other verses about Him instructing us. But yet, so many of my prayers recently have been left open ended to me. There hasn't been an answer yet. No matter how many tears I have prayed or verses I spoke. Why?

That why has been burning inside of me for days. And I will be candid, my emotions have jumped over it and my soul aches and is confused. I can't tell you how many times I have thrown my hands up in frustration, while praying. All but thinking, what's the point!?

But prayer is so important. And the why is a bad way for me to look at it. Even if practical as a human. I have to remind myself that God's ways are higher the mine and that for some reason, He is silent.

There has been a saying going around social media that I would like to repeat here: Teachers are often silent during a test.

Is God asking me to have more faith in this? What could He be showing me? I know we hear those things all the time.

Yet, I feel worse almost that He hasn't answered me while I seek His will. My soul is heavy that it seems He has gone silent in answering. The frustration of my heart grows and walls seem to be built instead of faith.

But the teacher silent during a test....It made me think that maybe me pursuing and trusting God came when it was actually hard. No one wants to hear that or think that maybe that verse from Proverbs doesn't mean He automatically reveals His will for something. (Even though it would be very nice if He answered like He did David for battle. Or even Gideon with the fleece.) But I can only trust Him and keep praying. Keep reading the Word.

Keep pursuing.

Even when I feel alone, hopeless, and exhausted. Frustrated even.

I write this not as a slap or rebuke in anyones face. This is something we all struggle with. Honestly, its been hitting me hard the past few days. One of my friends and I actually had a conversation recently about this. About wanting to know God's will. While we were speaking, she repeated to me something someone had told her once about seeking God, "God's will isn't a roadmap but a relationship."

A relationship. Taking a step at a time. Simple yes's in life. Trusting that He hears all the prayers and questions. And trusting He has a plan.

Even when it seems He is silent.

Because a relationship doesn't always mean happy flowers and simple answers. In a romantic relationship, there will be arguments and days when you can barely talk. In friendships, there will be misunderstandings and times when you can't see their point. But in platonic and romantic relationships there will be (hopefully) reconciliation.

Thank goodness our relationship with God isn't like the ones on earth because they all fail at some point or don't last for reasons unseen. Our relationship with God should be viewed as one with ups and downs. As one where He pursues and then we should. We have to trust when we don't understand, knowing He holds us and has written our story.

In the silence, we wait patently. Get rid of your agenda and need to know or have something. Because honestly, if God gave everything to us easily or the same, would we actually pursue Him as hard? Or would we all stay distant like the rest of the world?

I know its hard and feels sometimes like His silence or that unanswered prayer is going to be the last straw, but keep pressing into God. Sit in the silence with Him, even in your anger. Pursue Him even when you feel frail and beat with emotions and people, comparison and disappointment. Pursue Him because while He is silent He could be just ahead, working on that path.

And with His head inclined up ahead on your path, He could be saying, "Can you go a little further? Trust me, the next bend will take your breath. Trust me. Wait and keep pursuing. I'm here and have been working the whole time you prayed. Answered it in the best way in My time."

So pursue and trust. Be crushed and pressed to be ready for the next chapter.

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