the sound of silence

Did I get the tickets?

If you speak German, today’s number will give you the answer.

(I did get through after 70 minutes but the tickets I was offered were far more expensive than I could justify paying.)

So what do we do with unfulfilled dreams, hopes, ambitions and even unanswered prayers?

We could get angry and bitter about it.

“It’s not fair!”

“Why me?”

“Why not me?”

But the anger and bitterness, while cathartic for a moment, won’t lead to a resolution.

We could shrug our shoulders and accept it fatalistically.

“Whatever.”

But that is not satisfying.

We could blame God.

“Why didn’t you do what I wanted?”

“I don’t understand.”

“If you don’t answer my prayers or help me what’s the point?”

And I honestly think he would prefer us to do that then either of the previous two – at least it is the start of a dialogue, so long as we are prepared to listen for his response.

There are quite a lot of times in the Bible when people express doubt, confusion and even question whether God knows what he is doing*.

Advent is a season that reminds me to wait on God. To wait with God. To wait for God. It reminds me that God is also in the unansweredness, the unfulfilledness, the unwantedness, even the unhappiness. I think that the Old Testament people (like Job) were onto something when they would put on sackcloth and sit around in ashes at times like that. It was a physical demonstration of their angst, but also I sense that it could also be a deeply spiritual encounter with God in silence and sorrow.

I am not suggesting that you change your clothes and find the remains of a November the 5th bonfire. But perhaps rather than seeking answers or venting emotion we should spend some time seeking God and discovering he is with us even in the darkest of places.

I think that is what Elijah discovered (1 Kings 19) when he found God’s presence in the sound of sheer silence.

Be blessed, be a blessing.nine iron

*This seems to have been a perpetual problem for the Hebrew people, even in their amazing escape from Egypt whenever things got difficult they decided that God didn’t know what he was doing and they would prefer to be slaves in Egypt.

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