“It’s during these moments when I am completely lost and feel like I’m drowning that I know God is doing His greatest work in my heart. I believe that the Lord is always calling us into deeper water—pulling us where we can no longer touch the bottom of the ocean or control the steps we take.” Heather Lindsey
Silent seasons shape us. It is during these moments we learn who or what it is we actually run to in hard times. Just this year alone, there have been so many things in my life that have caused me to wonder where God was or if He would answer. What I wanted was an answer from the Lord, but if I am honest, I was not seeking Him. In my anxiousness, I was trying to frantically see what I could do in my own ability to gain the outcome I wanted. And it wasn’t even in a “pray like it depends on God, work like it depends on you” kind of thing. I shot up a quick prayer and called it faith. What it was, was obligation and doubt. My mouth may have said one thing, but my actions showed that I didn’t believe God cared or would do anything about it. But here’s the thing: God cares about my dreams. And yours. No matter what it looks like or feels like to us. I don’t have to be afraid to seek the Lord about anything for fear of rejection. I have to learn over and over, that God has my BEST interest at His heart. So if something is not for me, I need to trust that there is a reason why. What I am learning is that God’s “No” is not a rejection. It is either a protection or a preparation for what is to come.
God’s “No” is not a rejection. It is either a protection or a preparation for what is to come.
When something hurts us physically, we feel pain. It is our bodies way of telling us that something is not right. When my heart literally hurts because of anxiety, or when anger, frustration and impatience come out, and I just want to crawl into a hole, something is not right in my spirit. It is the Holy Spirit telling me I have lost perspective and elevated the things of this world above Him. If God is truly first in my life, it will be evident to others in how I live my life. I do not walk around wearing things that belong to the world (anxiety, anger, impatience, etc.), when God is in His rightful place in my heart.
If we want to be shown the way, it is going to take more than a 5 second prayer and 3 minute devotion. Anything in life where we have seen the fruits of our labor, is because of intentionality on our part. It is no different in our walk with the Lord. The moments where I have seen the greatest growth in my faith, and the most peace in my heart, were the times that I was spending time with the Lord on a DAILY basis. Even when I felt like I had so much on my plate, when I chose to be intentional in my prayer time and reading the Word, it caused a shift in my heart. There was greater peace because my eyes were on the Lord, and not my to-do lists.
“Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8
If you feel like you cannot hear God in the season you are in, or maybe you never have, DO NOT GIVE UP. He sees you. He hears you. He has not forgotten you.
- Keep pressing into His presence, and spend time in the Word daily. The more you read His Word, the more you will be able to distinguish His voice above everyone else’s.
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
- Pray. God longs to hear from us, just as any parent wants their child to come to them–in good times or bad. He also longs to speak to us as well during these times. Learn to quiet your spirit and listen for what God wants to say.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
- WRITE IT DOWN. This is SO important! We can honestly become so prideful in our ability to remember things. In reality, the reason we remember things is because there is repetition, whether it is conscious or not. Write down what you get out of reading the Bible. Write down what the Lord speaks to you in prayer. Write down notes when you go to church. *Tip: Technology is all well and good, but nothing beats pen and paper here. Your mind actually has to put forth more effort to remember what is being said, because you cannot write as fast as you type.
“And the Lord answered me: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Habbakuk 2:2
- Connect with others. Have the humility of heart to reach out to others and say that you are struggling. More often than not, you will find others are struggling as well. Be vulnerable. Be compassionate. Be encouraging. Those things will come back to you as you give them away. There is strength and joy in unity.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25