I was talking with a friend this morning and she shared how God has been speaking to her so lately in her devotions. She is excited about all she has been hearing from God. My end of the line was quiet. Hmmm. I wasn't sure how to respond. I finally admitted, " I am in a quiet season."
God has been quiet for several months in my life. There have been no burning bushes and very few devotion times when I felt that I heard from God. It's a stark contrast to the last year of my life which was a season of God speaking loud and clear. As I look through last year's journal entries I am blown away with how day after day for months on end I was hearing clear direction, encouragement, rebuking, and training - oh so much rebuking and training - from the Lord. A very loud season has transitioned into a very quiet one, yet in both I know God is present.
The quiet has a lesson too. Quiet from the Lord does not mean that He has turned His back to me. It does not mean His eyes are not on me. It doesn't mean that He does not have good things for me to learn in this season of my life. It just means there are different things for me to learn. My friend Amy told me that a season of quiet can be a season of maturing. I see that as true. It's easy to wake up and dive into your morning devotions or Bible study when you enjoy it, or when you are hearing clearly from the Lord. It's a lot harder to not hit the snooze button when you do not perceive to be getting anything out of your study and prayer time. I hear the Lord quietly asking, "Will you still come talk to me if there is only a quiet wind and not a burning bush?"
I believe the Lord is teaching me steadfastness in this quiet. He who has been steadfast for me, desires the same in me. He who has walked long with me, desires me to walk long with Him. Steadfastness requires a surrendering of my immature attention span that seeks the perpetually new in exchange for a new mindset - one set on eternity. Steadfastness requires loyalty for the long haul.
In Sunday school lessons and bible movies we have a tendency to skip over the steadfastness of God, and of His people. We flash from the scene of Abraham looking at the stars to Sarah giving birth without dwelling in the years between. We hop from the parting of the Red Sea to the stopping of the Jordan without pondering the 40 years between. We love stories of Daniel in the Lion's Den and David killing Goliath because in one night, in one stone, God moves. We desperately want God to move in one night, or with one little stone, against the lions and Goliaths of our lives. Sometimes He does. He has for me. Sometimes for reasons we will not understand in the moment, the movement we need from God is just not going to take a night. I need steadfastness to walk out the good path God has for me. I need steadfastness to take the same love I have for Pete into the next 20 years of our relationship. I need steadfastness to mother my girls as they enter the prickly and distant teen years. I need steadfastness to keep writing, and speaking, and leading in ministry when it feels very difficult.
Perhaps you are in a season when God is quiet. Perhaps you feel life has been a long season of God being quiet. I pray steadfastness for you. Steadfastness to faith that your heavenly Father is with you. Steadfastness to studying His word to store it up in your heart. Steadfastness to the tasks He has set for you as a parent, a worker, a child of God.
I'd love to hear what God is teaching you in this season of your life.