The Gospel accounts of Jesus' death and Resurrection mention what happened each day of Holy Week -- except for Wednesday. Any details of what Jesus did or said on this middle-of-the-week day were not recorded. We don't know why they weren't written down, but I believe God made the silence of this particular day as a lesson.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when, right in the middle of a stressful season when you needed to experience God's presence the most -- He was silent? You did not hear His voice. Now, some might say that one never hears the voice of God, and I beg to differ. John 10:4, 16, 27 state, "When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice...I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd....My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." Certainly, as Christ taught with parables, he wasn't talking about actual, wooly sheep -- but His followers.
I've had seasons in my life where I heard His voice so clearly and was in such fellowship with Christ that I knew I was surrounded, inside and out, by the Holy Spirit. Those seasons are precious. But I want to suggest that the darker, more difficult seasons where you don't hear God's voice are equally precious -- for it in those seasons that you actively seek Him.
When my husband was shot in an attempted armed robbery in November 2015, immediately I knew the Holy Spirit was at work. When I turned onto the interstate to head to the hospital as my husband was being transported by ambulance, I looked out to see an interstate full of stopped red lights -- it was Thanksgiving Saturday traffic, and it was heavy. "Lord Jesus," I prayed out loud, hand held high. "I have to get to the hospital -- and there's a sea of red lights blocking my path. In your Name," I prayed, "I'm asking You to split that red sea down the middle again." I hit the hazard light button and took off, and much to the amazement of my son, sitting in the passenger seat, those cars parted and I drove right down the middle of them. "Thank you, Jesus!" I shouted. His Presence and Power were all over us, like Jesus Himself was sitting behind me, His holy hand on my shoulder, providing the peace to hold myself together.
In the times, though, that you're barely holding yourself together, and life is so overwhelming, and all you want is to hear God's voice, what do you do when He's silent? The Holman Bible's version of Lamentations 3:8 is telling: "Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him." It is in those dark times when you cannot discern His voice and He seems so far away that you must believe and have faith that God does not move based on your feelings. Feelings are fleeting; faith is firm. When you feel that God has turned away from you, reach for the BIble and pray the Scriptures that affirm that He promised He would never do that:
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [Matthew 28:20b]
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." [1 John 5:14]
"The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer." [Psalm 6:9]
"Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" [Psalm 66:20]
Sometimes we stop hearing God's voice and we've been doing all the things we should do: being in the Word, praying, going to church; yet, for whatever reason, God is still silent. Perhaps a relationship with God is more than the activities one performs as a Christian -- it's a mindset. It's a heart thing. Our outside demeanor can be one of pious reverence when inside, it's anything but. About this Jesus told the Pharisees, "In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness," [Matthew 23:28].
When you're facing a time of silence from the Lord, don't ignore it. Repent, ask forgiveness for not putting Him first, and dig into the Bible. Study it. Pray the Psalms. Ask Jesus to renew the joy of your salvation. Quench the thirst you have for Him by seeking His face through the study of His Word, prayer, fellowship with other believers, service, and praise. Praise Him for all the things He has done, is doing and will do in your life. Remind yourself through prayer with God that He hears you -- claim those promises in Scripture that He hears you.
The Wednesday of Holy Week is silent for a reason -- and that purpose is to give us hope: even in our darkest moments, the Light of Christ is still shining. Our darkest seasons have no power over Christ's Light.
In His Wonderful Light,
(c) 2017 Terrie McKee
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