She cried out in desperate need. Her life was dangling on the precipice of hopelessness and despair. This world could offer her neither relief or help…Jesus was her last hope. And yet we read, “…he did not answer her a word.” (Mt.15:23)
How could this be? How could the one who loves us so deeply remain so quiet during our greatest trial and affliction? These questions have been asked by many, including myself, who have gone through great suffering and found only silence from the Lord. I went for months crying out to the Lord in prayer concerning my condition…which eventually led to the diagnosis of cancer and the treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. Time and time again I cried out in desperate prayer and anguish of soul, and the Lord answered not a word. Heartbreak brings us to Jesus with our eyes and knees weeping for His grace.
I found several things happened during the time of the Lord’s silence.
- He reduces us to pure faith
- He exposes our sin and pride
- He prioritizes our life
- He simplifies our calling
- He emboldens our witness
- He deepens our love for Truth
- He opens our eyes to see the true pain of our fellow man
- He deepens our love for those suffering
- He lets us see things from His perspective
- He teaches us the impetus of His heart in Divine Guidance
- He trains us to hear His faintest whisper
Jesus finally answered the cry of the woman in the account recorded in the gospels. (Mt.15:28) He will also answer our cry…though it is hard to hold to this in the midst of great trials when He is silent. For me, it was ten months after I first started crying out. His answer was clear, unexpected and convicting.
I’ve written a lot on each of the above in the journals I kept while going through my valley of suffering during cancer treatment. However, for this short post I will simply leave you with this:
When Jesus is Silent…He still speaks! In His silence He is still very active and doing a beautiful and transforming work in our life. It may not be noticeable by us but it is evident to those we are around.
“Those who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls.” (C.H. Spurgeon)