God’s Silence

Do you ever feel like God is silent?

Are you convinced the silence means He’s not listening, or He doesn’t care, or maybe He’s not even there?

Perhaps you’ve prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed about this one person, or this one thing, or this one situation. You’re desperate for relief or confirmation or acknowledgement or peace. Your knees are sore from all the praying, from all the waiting. And yet….

God is silent.

I recently heard an incredibly powerful sermon by Dan Buraga, the young adult pastor at my church.

He preached from the story of Esther.

He talked about how Esther, a Jewish queen, delivered God’s people from death.

Then he made the connection to Jesus – our ultimate deliverer.

He made the connection to the most crucial moment in history, when God’s beloved son hung on that cross and cried out to His father from the depths of his soul, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

And the Father, who had perfect communion with the Son, did not answer. He did not reach out and save His boy.

God was silent.

And in that silence, He offered deliverance to us all.

This is the same God whose name can be found in one form or another in every single book in the Bible.

Every single book except one.

The book of Esther.

A story of deliverance.

And God is not mentioned once. He is completely and utterly silent. Just as He was completely and utterly silent that day on the cross.

Yet His presence shouts.

From the pages of Esther, where a Jewish queen saves her people. From Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. From the temple, where the curtain was torn. From the earth that shook. And the sky that darkened.

His presence shouts.

And we’re reminded that God’s silence does not mean His absence.

Let’s Talk: How do you handle God’s silence?


21 thoughts on “God’s Silence

  1. I know I’m 5 years older than this post (Eeep!) but it’s so beautifully written, that I had to comment. It makes me wonder if God really has been silent in the times I’ve thought Him to be. But… is He? Or is He speaking through other people, through the prayers of friends and the encouragement of those close to me while I walk a valley? I love that you give us something to ponder here. Happy, blessed, restful and joyous Holy Week, dear friend!

  2. Beth K. Vogt

    How we handle God's silence can change our faith–deepening it or weakening it. Truth be told, I reacted wrongly to God's silence … and weakened my faith. But here's what I learned: God reacted to me with lavish grace.
    Amazing God.
    Why am I always surprised?

  3. Katie Ganshert

    I have LOVED reading these comments. There are some very beautiful truths in them.

    Thanks so much for joining in the conversation! I love reading what you all have to say!

  4. Coleen Patrick

    Hi Katie,
    For me prayer, especially in those dark moments is the comforting part. Even though I want a solution, the act of prayer feels more about the connection than the answer. In a way it's like comforting my own child when they don't feel well. I can't always fix things or take away the discomfort, but I know my presence is soothing.
    Beautiful post Katie.

  5. Sonia Rumzi

    I learned that in His silence, He teaches me faith. We learn faith in times of darkness when God is not speaking to us. 🙂 Great post, thanks Katie.

  6. Donna

    His silence lets me know He's orchestrating circumstances or events that I cannot yet see. But when I do, His majesty and love blows my wig right off.

  7. Kristen Johnson

    I love this parallel Katie. Love it. Gave me chills, really, because I thought about a situation where I have prayed and prayed and prayed for a family member of mine, and it just seems like things only get worse. I have wondered about God's silence, even while knowing that He is in control. It's easy to get to questioning things in our minds, and easy to stop trusting that He has a plan. What beautiful reminder that He always hears us and always has us in mind.

  8. Marji Laine

    Jessica, I love your comment and I needed to hear it. And God's trying to tell me something because right after reading your article, Katie I pulled up my next blog and found the exact same verse!

    Coincidence? Mmmmm, no. Trying to hear His still, small voice.

  9. Carol Riggs

    It's often very difficult when God is silent, but I'm always sure He's there. 🙂

  10. Loree Huebner

    I think that when God is silent, He's waiting for us to listen.

  11. Jill

    I've always been highly suspicious of the book of Esther–for multiple reasons–including the fact that God isn't in it. But I won't go into that. I would never want to doubt in a book of the Bible, nor cause anyone else to do so. You've got to admit, though, that Jesus talked with the Father frequently, and you never find that in Esther's life–not ever. So the silence may have been for entirely different reasons.

    Yes, sometimes I feel that God is silent, or that I'm not actually hearing his voice, but then his promises to me come to pass and I remember them. God isn't silent to me. I just don't know how to listen, and I'm impatient.

  12. Jill Kemerer

    I don't ever feel God is silent with me, but I do hear him telling me to wait, to hold on, to be patient, that his timing is for the best.

    Beautiful post.

  13. CJ

    What a thoughtful post!

  14. Wendy Paine Miller

    I went through a period of months years ago when I felt this. It changed me & it changed my faith.

    It helped me learn to walk without seeing, believe without seeing and trust with no visual to guide me other than the cross and all He sacrificed. I understood in a glimpse what it meant to be in his likeness b/c of the pain I suffered (only a glimpse, but it was enough to transform my faith).
    ~ Wendy

  15. Krista Phillips

    I've found that when I think God is being silent, it is usually me who is being way too loud. Or, it is just that He is not doing what *I* want, so therefore he must be not saying anything, right?!?

    But yes, sometimes we cry out and cry out and he IS silent. I do that with my own kids sometimes. When they are yelling and screaming and demanding their own way, I find the best way is to be silent until they finish and only then, when they are quiet and apologize for their disrespectfulness, do I answer them quietly. (well, then there are other times I yell back and tell them to get their butts into their room unless they want a spankin, but that's off topic and not something I'm proud of!)

    Regardless, when God is silent, I've learned to slow down, quiet down, and just wait on Him.

  16. Lacie Nezbeth

    Ah, the book of Esther. One of my favorite books! I remember reading something that said, "His name might not be in Esther, but His careful planning is on every page." That has always stuck with me. So now when I feel like I need him to show up somehow, I remember that His planning and timing are perfect and beyond better than what I could dream of for myself. And that always gets me by.

    Thanks for the reminder today, Katie!

  17. Jennifer K. Hale

    I've definitely been in a place where God seemed silent. I knew better than to believe that he actually was ignoring me, but it was still difficult. What was sustaining was knowing that He was simply waiting for me to realize how He was working and moving, shouting at me through the silence.

    Beautiful post, K.

  18. Jessica Nelson

    I think okay, but he doesn't ever feel silent to me. I mean, maybe feeling-wise he's silent, but like you said, His presence is all around us and if we look, I think we can find comfort in unlikely places.

  19. Laura Pauling

    As I tell my kids in Sunday School, prayers don't always get answered the way we want them to and sometimes silence is an answer. Though it's much harder to accept that at the time…and then the answer comes later in hindsight.

  20. Heather Sunseri

    This is wonderul, Katie! And yes, I'm feeling God's silence on a prayer that has been very near and dear to me, one of the first prayers from my lips every single day. His silence is deafening on this one issue that brings me to my knees in tears. How do I handle it? Life keeps moving forward, so I do, too.

    Thank you for this today, Katie.

  21. Jessica R. Patch

    Beautiful, beautiful, Katie! I always find even when He's silent, I can look around and discover Him closeby. Sometimes I know He's testing me to see if I'll keep pressing in and the rewards of that are sweet–if I press.

    Thanks for ministering to me today!


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