“To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: Do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.” Psalm 28:1-2
Everyone from time to time, goes through periods in their life when it feels like their prayers don’t get any further away than the ceiling of their prayer closet and it feels like God doesn’t hear a thing they say.
I think David must have been going through a time like this when he wrote the first few verses of Psalm 28. Other of the Psalms give indication of a similar experience at other times in his life.
At times I’ve wondered why it’s necessary that we go through these times where it feels like we’re all on our own as we fight through the struggles life throws at us. What I’ve learned is something that David seems to relearn many times as he writes his psalms and that’s that we can’t trust our feelings to accurately communicate God’s nearness or his involvement in our lives. We can only trust his promises.
What does God promise us? “I will always be with you.” “I will ways hear you.” “ I will always be willing to help you.”
The difficulty comes when the help we need is more disciplinary than comforting, or when the help we need is best given when we learn our lesson by going through a series of troubles rather than being protected from them.
David, himself, learned the trust necessary to face Goliath by first having to face the attacks of a lion and a bear, and so it may be for us. The trials we, apparently, face on our own today may be part of God’s school of faith teaching us to not fail in our trust in him when we’re called to meet even bigger troubles in the future.
Learning to use the faith God’s given us isn’t something that comes naturally. Doubt, distrust, anger and fear come much more easily.
So how do we hold to faith when we go through these times where God seems to be silent?
Take the time to do what David does so often in his psalms. Tell your frustration to God. Tell him how important he is to you and how much you rely on him. Recall his promises and the ways he’s been your help and protection in the past. Quite often just doing this will open your eyes to see God’s hand quietly working in the present and will awaken your faith to more completely trust in him.