Stephen spoke this morning on ‘the awkard silence.’ All of us have experienced that kind of silence, perhaps when meeting people for the first time and conversation dries up or when facing unfamiliar situations where questions are asked but not necessarily anticipated and therefore met with silence rather than answers. Silence can sometimes be comfortable (e.g. between old friends), but more often that not, it is awkard and leaves us feeling uncertain and unsure what to do.
God’s silence can be even harder for us to fathom. What do we do when we have cried out to Him in desperation and are met with no answer? Are we tempted to find our own solutions and answers? Job faced difficult silences at time. In Job 1:13-19 and Job 2, we see how his life was turned upside down by catastrophe after catastrophe, how his wealth, prosperity, health and family were all taken from him, leaving him with more questions than answers. Job’s friends tried to provide him with answers (mostly focussing on his imagined wrongdoing), but for many chapters, we see people talking and postulating answers and hear nothing from God. Only in Job 38 do we begin to hear God’s answers: and even then, they are not answers, but further questions for Job, showing something of the magnificence and power of God.
In the awkward silence between our pleading and questions and God’s voice speaking to us, we need to trust Him. Rend Collective remind us that (‘in the silence, You won’t let go’ (‘My Lighthouse’)), and the truth is that God is with us, even in those awkward silences. We need to put our trust in God, in His word and in His voice. At the end of the book, we see Job’s prosperity, wealth and restored and he has seven more sons and three daughters (Job 42:10ff). We see how God has used the suffering and difficult silences to bring good into Job’s life. Because of this, we have hope in every situation. Silence may be difficult, but if we turn to God in trust, rather than trusting in our own solutions and ideas, we will find that He is still with us and has every answer we need.