When God is silent

By: Carol McClain       carol_mcclain

Have you ever prayed and prayed and prayed and nothing ever happened?

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, I don’t have to guess at the answer.

Unfortunately, to us mortals with mortal desires, sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes, though, God’s working behind the scenes.

I have two examples.

We had a dead tree by our guesthouse (doubling as my studio). We called tree-removal services. No one answered our messages or they stood us up after making an appointment. This went on for over a year.

Meanwhile, the white oak dropped limbs on the house or impaled the ground with its fallen branches, and I imagined the annihilation of my family when they came to visit.

I love the solitude of walking alone. One day, I just happened to be in need of company as I walked my dog. I just happened to turn in a direction I don’t usually go. I just happened to run into a friend who was having large trees removed. Just happened to meet the tree expert who just happened to be finishing and just happened to be able to take down our tree.

For seventy-five bucks!

Had we gotten the other fellows, the bill would’ve been infinitely higher because of travel time and estimates and such.

When the crack of the tree falling resounded, I knew God answered. He waited to respond to my prayer for a purpose. (And I’m not a person who goes around saying,  I know it’s God.

The second time of God’s silence in my life deals with my books. Being published by a small publisher, and now indie, all sales fall to me. As I prepped for sales venues, I’d pray, “God, let me sell ten books. Please sell my books.” (and I chose ten because Dave Wilkerson once said to be specific so that you knew it was God answering.)

At festivals, I’d sell one or two or three. Never approaching ten. On a rare good day, I get eight or nine.

Finally, I prayed, “God, You’re in control. Do whatever.” That day, I sold over twenty. And when this attitude prevailed in me, I always did better. I gave the process over to God. I truly said (and humbly prayed), whatever You see fit. God’s silence was His work in me.


When God is silent

  1. He is working. (Jn. 5:17)
  2. Answered prayers look different from we expect. (Jn. 14:27)
  3. He has a greater good in mind. With my books, He wanted me to let go. When I did, stress and self-condemnation fled. (Ps. 50:21.)
  4. He is God. He knows the beginning and the end. Perhaps He’s saying no. If so, it’s for a greater purpose. Think of Martha and Mary. Martha prayed Jesus would make Mary help. He said, no. There was a greater reason. Keep in mind Pr. 3:5



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