When God is Silent
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Mt 5:4
Heidi Baker spoke this morning on this verse and I felt as though she was speaking directly to me, directly to my heart.
The first five days I was here, it was all God, all joy, all fullness, all anointing, all presence. Just being filled up with so much goodness and joy and teaching. And now….emptiness.
What do we do when God takes us through a season of emptying us, of not constantly speaking to us?
God is breaking our hearts so that He can heal them, so that those old hurts, those old wounds can be addressed. Was it a word of rejection someone spoke? A lost relationship. Just loss. The constant that nothing is constant. What was it that wrote itself on our soul so that we learned to approach God in chains?
This cup of servitude, this cup of suffering is painful. I’ve spent much of my free time up in the prayer hut just crying out to God for his presence. The wind whips around, the sand storms rise and yet not my heart with it. The last two days full of questions. And yet….
Answers. On Sunday morning I didn’t feel like going to church, I didn’t feel I had anything left to give. So I cried and then eventually made it there and sat in the dirt with the children. A little girl, with arms like toothpicks crawled up into my arms and just held onto me. I held her for two hours just rocking her. She fell asleep on me and drooled all over my tank top but I held her and felt her love for me and my love for her.
I felt how God must love us crawling up into His arms, I felt how he wanted me to love the little girl in me.
I felt so many things. And I felt nothing all at the same time. Her name was Zina. I like to think its Xena (yes the warrior princess.) When I tried to wake her so that she wouldn’t miss the food handout (because by her torn dress I could tell she was a village child) she just squeezed me harder, so afraid that I would let her go.
She was so exhausted. I thought of the miles she must have walked to get there. For some lunch.
I thought of her desire, the hunger in her that she would walk those miles and just cling to me with all she had.
And I know that even though sometimes in this journey with God I do not feel Him, I do not feel Him rocking me in His arms, I know that He allows it so that I know what it is to hunger again, to want, to desire His presence so much that I’ll walk for miles to get it.
That it’s all I want. Nothing else. Nothing less. In this raw world, those true selves, those true desires, they come to the surface. This place is a purifying fire. There is nowhere to hide. It is all surrender. All or nothing.
This morning I had almost given up that God was ever going to speak to me again.
I had almost given up that I could feel just the soothing presence that overcomes me in worship, that fills me up with love so that I can go hug that child on the street, so that I can let the children just take and take. Because they will take. They will disappoint us. And if we are not full of love, not full of something more than ourselves, we will want to run away when we see that our love was not returned, or our love was trampled on. Heidi has so many stories of being stolen from and her girls that she rescued failing her. But she takes them back, she never kicks them out. Never. Because the love of God is unending. And if we do not have it…we will run out.
So I am desperate here and not ashamed to be desperate. Desperate for the love of God because it is the only thing that changes, and for once, I am not trying to change the world, I am just trying to change me.
Before I left, a friend wrote me a letter that I feel was prophetic.
They said, as Ghandi has said, “Before we can change the world, we must first change ourselves.”
This is the journey I am on. Hungry to be changed and turned upside down. Hungry to have the emptiness filled and yet content with the knowledge that my God makes me a promise: I will be comforted. And in that same comfort, I will comfort others.
My greatest pain is the area in which I will do the greatest ministry. I truly believe that. So I’m not afraid of it. Let it come.
Slowly, I press through. In worship this morning, I press through despite the fact that I feel numb.
And I can feel God coming, and even though sometimes He is a long way off, I can sense Him coming, like you can sense a lover before they turn the corner. I wait for it.
And I tell you truly, though this has been hard, I can think of no other place I would rather be in this moment. I know that the healing and the worth I am storing up in this place will stretch forth healing into the darkest corners of this world, and the darkest places of the heart.
My only hope is that someday you too could come here, could experience this place and even in a week, the years of knowledge it has given me. The kinds of lessons it takes a lifetime to learn.
If you are thirsty for more, jump off the edge, let it all go, and come.