It’s week 1 of Lent! In light of the season of Lent, I decided to share in my journey with you as we journey to Jerusalem towards Calvary’s cross. I pray that we work on our Lent journey, that Lent does just as much work on us.
When I began praying about this Lenten journey, I asked God for a fresh word. I wanted a fresh anointing. Okay, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I was tempted to go and pull something out of the archives, but was convicted immediately to hear what is appropriate for this season. So here I am praying, listening, discerning, and the likes. Guess what I heard? I AINT HEAR NOTHIN’!!!!! I mean, its borderline disrespectful! The thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with what felt like a silent God. What’s the deal with God’s silence? Why would God not speak? That just sounds like it’d be bad for everyone. This kind of thinking almost put me in a position to miss the blessing and miracle of God’s silence. Let’s check out 2 texts, and go from there.
Old Testament Reflection
Daniel 10: 8 So I was left alone to see this great vision. My strength left me, and my complexion grew deathly pale, and I retained no strength. 9 Then I heard the sound of his words; and when I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a trance, face to the ground. 10 But then a hand touched me and roused me to my hands and knees. 11 He said to me, “Daniel, greatly beloved, pay attention to the words that I am going to speak to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” So while he was speaking this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 He said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, 14 and have come to help you understand what is to happen to your people at the end of days. For there is a further vision for those days.”
Whoa! Did this angel just admit that Daniel was heard the first time he prayed? Yes he did. That just happened, and that’s good news for us. It’s good news because if there was a first time, that means there were more times after that. Daniel, like myself, had asked for a fresh word, and wanted a fresh anointing. Here he was praying, listening, discerning, and the likes. For this 21 day period Daniel AINT HEAR NOTHIN’! According to what this angel says though, he didn’t need to yet. There were some demonic forces at work that had to be taken care of immediately that Daniel couldn’t see. Satan had reared his head, and God sent Michael to handle it. He was being fought for and didn’t even know it. I wonder what battles were being fought on my behalf that I had no clue was happening. God literally sent an angel to handle his lightweight, to cover me. Our grandparents would say “He kept me from dangers seen, and UNSEEN!” Amazing isn’t it? Even in the silence of God, God was taking care of the unseen! And if actions speak louder than word, God I’ll wait for you to verbally speak. In my waiting though, I’m going to thank you for taking care of my unseen!
There are some key pertinent questions that I had to ask myself in light of this revelation, that I’ll share with you: Can you consider a time God took care of your “unseen”, and you didn’t know until it was taken care of? Earlier in the scripture, it says Daniel mourned the 21 days while waiting to hear. What do you do with your “21 days”?
Okay so we’ve dealt with the God who deals with the unseen. Now let’s deal with another aspect of this here Silent God.
New Testament Reflection
Mark 7: 31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
For the sake of dealing with this theme, let’s focus on the hearing part of this. The deaf man couldn’t hear. Jesus put his fingers into his ears. That’s weird. Covering our ears, and/or sticking our fingers in our ears is what is normally done when we don’t want to hear something. Its purpose is to block out sound, yet Jesus uses it to restore hearing. What’s the irony here? It might suggest that in order to hear there are some sounds that need to be blocked out. The miracle of this hearing came from the sound that was blocked out. Now my prayer to this silent God has shifted a little bit. It includes a request to silent the things around us that would keep us from hearing God. I have to wonder. What nouns (person, place, thing, idea) need to be silenced in order for us to hear?
I’m not sure where this Lenten journey is taking us. I do know this much though. Calvary is coming. The journey towards Jerusalem is all too real, and even God’s silence, God still speaks. Let’s silence the unnecessary around us, and thank God for handling the unseen as we journey towards the cross. Shalom!