You know how it’s difficult to taste food when we have a head cold? Well, my horrible health during the winter months affected my senses. I could taste and see the Lord’s goodness in my friends’ gifts to me: cards, meals, prayers, visits. But I couldn’t feel God’s presence or hear His voice.
I might have cried, “God, why have you forsaken me?” But two things helped me tread the deep waters while I waited for my good health—and a renewed spirit.
1). I can’t trust my emotions, but I can trust God.
My mentor/friend, Loretta, once said, “I can’t count on my emotions when I’m feeling low.”
True. I’ve seen how my negative emotions make it impossible to think clearly. They can also steer me down a destructive path. Pity party. Hopelessness. Spiritual lethargy. Does anything good come from viewing life as a half-empty cup? Or questioning God’s goodness?
I learned to trust God back when I had three miscarriages. Satan (father of lies) took advantage of my grief. He filled my mind with doubts about God’s love for me. He accused me of being unworthy. Grief spiraled into despair. I had to sort through my emotions and identify the lies. And then, I renewed my mind with God’s truth.
I’m glad I learned that lesson because this year, when God seemed silent while I lay ill, I refused to trust my emotions or listen to the enemy’s lies. Instead, I trusted God’s character and His promises.
Throughout scripture, the Lord tells His children: Do not be afraid. I am with you. You are mine. You are loved.
I choose the voice I listen to.
2). I can’t manufacture spiritual highs, but I can believe God.
Being ill is part of the human experience. I was willing to endure anything if only I could sense God’s comforting presence. I prayed for His peace and joy to buoy my spirits while my body healed. I read Psalms. I listened to praise music. But for all my efforts, I could not manufacture that mountain top high, or afterglow, that comes from spending time with God.
So I stopped trying so hard to hear God’s voice. If I didn’t have the energy to walk, or the ability to concentrate, then I needed to give my spirit permission to rest. And be comfortable with God’s silence. Knowing this too shall pass.
Spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible reading are opportunities to meet with God and hear His voice. But God doesn’t ask us to jump through hoops (or bust a gut) to get His attention. He sees us. He knows our name. He knows when our health suffers.
God says, “Believe.” Believe I’m present. Believe I love you. Believe I can use all things (even the silence) for your good and My glory.
Which voice do I believe?
Who do you listen to and believe when you’re going through a trial?
4 thoughts on “Which Voice Do You Believe?”
Being somewhat of an “expert” of those silent times, you hit the key to our confusion: relying on an emotion based pursuit of God’s presence. While we know what’s theologically true (He will never leave us or forsake us), His tangible touches of love — a card, a call, a chance to stop and enjoy a sunset from our beautiful rental — punctuate that truth, no matter how I feel at any moment. Praise God! Praying for you friend. ♡
Thank you Bethany for taking the time to share. I know you’ve had to surmount these silent moments in the past. But don’t you find the more we trust His love instead of our emotions, the silence seems less threatening? Although I didn’t get those warm fuzzies when He clearly speaks to me, I knew in my heart He was teaching me. Even trusting Him in the silence was a lesson I knew I was taking place at the time.
So true. Thank you for sharing in such a heartfelt, transparent way. Trusting God even if we feel He’s silent is key. He obviously wasn’t silent because He lead you to understand permission to rest was given. In the waiting, we make the decision to draw near to Him or to listen to those other voices. Your words touched me deeply this morning. Thank you.
Susan, thank you for sharing your thoughts. You’re so right. The Lord was definitely teaching me throughout that time. I learned A LOT about rest and patience. And letting go. I think the silent is how I perceive God when I ‘don’t sense His presence or joy.’
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