We are naturally curious creatures. If you don’t believe me, spend more than 24 hours with a talkative toddler in a new place, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Not only do toddlers become expert explorers when faced with the unknown, but they also become researchers and philosophers. “Why?” This one-word question is often loaded with expectation and is quite often followed by yet another “Why?”.
We are all like little children at times, seeking after the deeper meanings to the various aspects of our lives. As faith believers, our “Whys?” are often directed at God. “Why is this not working out for me?” “Why is this thing happening to my family?” “Why can’t I find peace and be happy?” “Why are you taking so long to answer my prayer?” Why can’t I figure this thing out?” “Why is my family like this?” “Why am I like this?”
Why? Why? Why?
Thankfully, God never gets tired of hearing from us. He is not intimidated by our questions, but instead, He encourages us to ask Him for the things we need, which includes answers to life’s questions. The problem is in our posture and patience. Often times in our impatience to solve our own problems, we shift from a humble posture of expectancy to one of doubt and entitlement. This can prevent us from hearing God’s answers, especially if they aren’t what we want to hear.
Power in the Silence
Sometimes, the answers we are looking for have been given to us, but our minds are too loud to hear them. God is often represented in the media as having a booming voice and an overwhelming presence. He fills up the room with his brilliance, and like the pillar of fire in the wilderness, you simply cannot miss Him. This is not always how God shows up to speak to us, though, is it? It’s not always easy to remember this when we have more questions than answers, and life shows no sign of slowing down.
In moments like these, it can bring us peace to remember that there is power in silence. Beneath the surface of chaos is a God that is always calm and in control. Elijah understood this. In 1 Kings 19, we see Elijah experience a flurry of emotions. He goes through all the stages of grief when threatened by a homicidal Queen after performing major miracles through the power of God. If anyone had a reason to question God, it was Elijah. It would be understandable if Elijah had said, “I mean, come on, God, I just participated in an epic showdown; I just showed your people that you are the one true God. You just used me to prophesy the sound of an abundance of rain; now look at me. What is this about? Why am I here? Haven’t I proven myself? Why, after all, that I’ve done, have you forsaken me?”
In his own way, Elijah did ask all these questions by begging God to kill Him, but what did God do? He showed up. He answered Elijah’s questions, not in a booming voice but in hushed silence. What’s fascinating about this story is the fact that the silence was not all there was. God gave Elijah an opportunity to see for himself that sometimes, all He needs to do is be still, despite all his questions, and wait on Him. 1 Kings 19:11, 12 says, “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
How many of us would have passed this test? How many of us would have allowed our racing hearts and minds to be still long enough to know that even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is always answering our questions? Truth is, sometimes, we’re so hung up on asking our questions that we fail to hear the answer. We crowd out our faith with fear and miss the many blessings that God wants to lavish on us. Some of you enjoy chaos, noise, and being so busy that you've unintentionally tuned God out. Do yourself a favor; slow down and be quiet. You are out of tune with God!!!!
Always the correct answer
Listen, no matter what the question is, Jesus is always the correct answer. To some, this may sound too simplistic, but for every believer, this is one of the most beautiful truths. We can only experience peace when we are confident in God’s promises. Every day, we get to choose where to put our trust, and it comes down to two options; we can either trust in our questions or trust God’s answers. As Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Back then, chariots and horses were equivalent to fancy jobs, nice cars, lofty positions, high-powered friends, and loaded bank accounts today. If our struggles (despite having all these things at our disposal) have taught us anything, it is that we cannot fully place our trust in them because they will inevitably fail us. We have to trust in the name and power of our Lord, who sees the end from the beginning. The one who knows the answer to our questions even before we ask them. We have to get in the habit of “trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and not leaning on our own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5).
Every day is a new opportunity to strengthen your faith. It is a new opportunity to learn how to sit in silence and wait on the Lord, trusting that His best for us is always better than our desires for ourselves. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain from learning to trust in the Lord. Turn your whys into worship and watch God move those mountains for you.
I pray that you're encouraged to wait. Know that the Lord hasn't forsaken you.
I hope that you've enjoyed this week's journal entry. My goal is to send love and encouragement to you and your household. Wherever you are in your journey, know that you are not alone. God is with you...
Thank you for reading.
© I am Coach Shonda
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