Never mistake God’s silence for God’s absence. Sometimes you pray for months, the walls of your people’s city still in rubble, before the opportunity is provided for you to rebuild. Sometimes you wait for years, sitting imprisoned, before you rise to govern a nation and save a people. But silence is not absence. There is a time for everything.
This quote touched me this week; it was exactly what I needed after a restless weekend and a roller-coaster few months. My “progress” is very much a work-in-progress, and it comes in the form of praying for him. To me it’s healing, displaying the warmth of love amidst an air of coldness by asking for someone else to be forgiven. And really, it’s the only possible way to achieve the impossible. But this silence is sometimes killer, and every time I come across another picture or status update, I can’t help but take a few steps back. I wish so badly to just take it upon myself, to extend my hand somehow, and to help him in some way. But when I feel compelled to move forward by taking things into my own hands, a voice calls me to be rational not rash; to be led not lead; to be still not shaken.
During the Exodus when Moses was leading the Israelite people, they were beset at all sides by great travail. In front of them was the daunting and unyielding Red Sea, and behind them was an irate Pharaoh and his Egyptian army. Just when the Israelites thought they had escaped from slavery to deliverance, God gave them yet another test of faith. Like pirates on a wooden plank, doomed with sharp swords on one end and scathing sharks on the other, the Israelites were surrounded by turmoil. The most immediate, common reflex for the Israelites would have been to expend their energy and fight with their intellect and strength. But this is not what God had in store for them. Rather, God simply commanded their leader Moses to stretch his staff towards The Red Sea, and on their behalf, God fought for His people by parting the unrelenting and treacherous waters. What did the Israelites have to do? Nothing. Nothing but faithfully watch the Lord fight for them. A route of escape, one beyond what was imaginable and humanly possible, was already in store for them – so long as they remained still and silent, trusting and acknowledging in the sheer and unmatched omnipotence of their God.