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For the month of August we are taking a break from our usual schedule. Instead we invite you to be part of a challenge we hope will make an impact in your life and along the Silk Road.

LISTENblogListening for the voice of God is a discipline developed across a lifetime.

Busy-ness, hurt, success and other things can lead me away from listening.

But this situation is the hardest in which to listen: when I stop hearing God.

This happens, though it is something we sometimes dislike talking about in the Christian world. There are seasons of my life where I do my best: I wake up early, I gather myself with my tea and my Bible, and I quiet my heart to listen.

And then nothing comes. I cannot distinguish the whisper of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is dead to me as I read it. The words, from which I want to draw life, sit listlessly on the page, staring back at me blankly.

I am ready to listen. Why does God not speak?

Is it the fault of secret sin hidden in my heart? Have I done some wrong, and now God is punishing me by giving me the silent treatment? Has He decided He no longer wants to share His thoughts with me? I was never worthy of them in the first place, but I know I have heard them before. Why does it seem the stream has stopped flowing?

Why can’t I hear Him?

Getting Through the Silence

These seasons are agonizing. I crawl back to the secret place, becoming more and more weary. I begin to wonder why I care. I lose faith, though I want to believe that He is still faithful.

As I become more and more desperate I strip my heart before Him, and then suddenly a day comes when I feel a new word from Him being planted inside of me, in a deeper place than it had been before.

In all truth, I don’t understand these seasons, but as I walk out of them I find Him there waiting for me, and I realize that even when I could not hear Him, He had not left my side.

Unchanging Grace

I will listen when He speaks, but I will also listen when the silence returns. When it seems like He has forgotten me, and no one is there.

If you find yourself in that place of silence today, I hope you don’t give up. I wish I could come and hold your hand, give you a hug, or look deep into your eyes and acknowledge the anguish of silence.

Since I can’t, I invite you to sing these words of faith with me:

“When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.”

He has spoken before. He will speak again. Even when it seems like there is nothing to hear: I will listen.

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