Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are you silent, God?


{warning, this will probably come out jumbled...as the thoughts in my heart, warring against each other.}

On person tells me she and her husband were looking at new, bigger, two story houses, and she knew God spoke to her when she walked into the one with marble counter-tops and it had a vase of (can't remember what type of flower) sitting on top. She knew that was the {more expensvie, bigger, deeper in debt mortgage} house she needed for her family of 5. (Sorry, but really?)
Another person says, in email, that they would put their hand on the Bible to prove the truth of the fact that God told them specifically...followed by a long paragrpagh IN QUOTES...as if He really did say it....quoted Him in fact.
Priscilla Shirer has two Bible Studies, one called He Speaks to Me and the other called, Discerning the Voice of God {I have done the second one, and it is really good}, about hearing and recognizing when God speaks.
Beth Moore, whom I love and trust, often speaks of God whispering in her Spirit.
Last Sunday at church, the message was on Abraham, having the faith, when He heard God speak to him, to follow and obey, even when he did not know where he was going and had to leave all he knew. (And I think of Sarah, going along, when SHE did not hear God's voice, and had a husband who kept calling her his sister....)
Katie, who feels that God has told her to give up all and work in Uganda with orphans.
And Joyce, who shares God has revealed to her that it is okay to buy the shoes and eat the cookies. {Why would God be telling Joyce to buy shoes, while He is telling Katie to give everything up to help orphans?}
And our Youth Pastor, and the church in Redding, that hosts Jesus Culture, that practices "Treasure Hunts", where the youth pray and open their hearts to God to whisper a message to them, where they then go out and follow that message to share God. {God was always telling Paul, in the Bible, to go here or there, or not here or there...so I know He has done it...}
See, my problem {I think}, is not with having a lack of faith to obey when God speaks...but it is having the faith to believe that He does speak, beyond the Bible....
I have never had, (that I recognize) that whispering voice...Have I? Have I, Lord, and am I just forgetting it. I have had thoughts pop in my head, like when I was debating whether I as a single woman should adopt my first daughter Mary Beth, and the thought came in my head, in church, when I was praying about it and asking God's will and surrending my will..... (I wanted it so bad, but had never had the whispering, or shouting voice say, GO ADOPT)....the words popped in my head: If not you than who? I had the money, or could find it, I had the desire, burning a hole in my soul, I had the courage and insanity to think I could....the willingness....
So was that God's voice? Was that my one whisper of a lifetime?
Does God speak today....in a personal way? And if so....Like Janine, my heart asks the question, "What kind of God sits back and lets his kids be treated worse than animals?" -Janine Maxwell, It's Not Okay With Me.
When I see what Katie is doing, and what Janine is doing, and I read and know and SEE the plights of so many around the world....how can God speak about bigger houses, and different jobs, and new shoes...and be silent about this? These children?
Joyce talks about lightening up and enjoying the some of the things we have in life, and I think, how can I when children are sleeping under piles of garbage, being ignored by most the world, and....well, far worse, happening to them.
When my daughter tells me of the death of her mother and the abandonment of her father, and wails as we walk the beach, saying she is sad and the next moment, laughs and runs as she gathers sea shells?
When my greatest concern right now is having enough tuition for Christian school, and praying, hoping, that surely God will provide for us, that it would be on His heart to have all four of my children in Christian school. while mothers across the world are tapping on car windows, with a tumor on her neck and a baby at her breast, begging for ANYTHING to provide food.
Why would He answer my prayer and not hers? Why would He put a flower on a marble countertop for one and no food for the other? Why would he protect my children from a selfish, materialistic culture, while allowing children in Africa to be raped by other children just to recieve a handful of food?
I know God can do many things at once and be all to all in the exact same moment be all to just one. I know that. I know He could solve world hunger and find me a new pair of shoes with not one additional ounce of sweat. So it is not the power or ability of God I question.
I know this life is not all there is. I know we have a better one coming, if I believe one word in the Bible, I believe that. So I know, in light of eternity, some of these horrific, painful circumstances are temporary. But I cannot reconcile this in my heart. I cannot understand the silence. Or what I am suppose to do about it. If God would speak, I would do. (I think, hope, pray)_....wouldn't I?
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
I wonder if He is speaking, all that He gets "credit" for saying. And if He is speaking, why don't I hear it, on these big things?
How can I trust silence? Or are my ears stopped up? Verse after verse pops into my head, and in light of our current society and world conditions, I think....how did He intend that for now...for here in America and for there in Africa?
I believe it is all true. God's Spirit in me, has done that...made His word truth to me. It is believing the truth and seeing the world, and then knowing what to pray, what to do, and what answers will or will not come....and interpreting silence...while I am trying to lead four children in a walk and beleif in the world. How do I answer, why does God allow....?
I don't know sweetie, He has not told me.
And yet, I know, He knows her name. This little girl, in the photo we took while in Ethiopia. Could so easily be my Olivia. He knows her name, her circumstance, her family, or lack of one, her fears, her pain, and what might make her laugh. He is a caring and loving God....
so how is He silent? is He?

4 Things Others Said:

Renee said...

I don't know, but these are questions I ask myself on a nearly daily basis. I have never heard, or felt, God's voice. I've never thought 'THAT is what God is telling me to do'. I have only been able to look back and see his hand in my life.
Sometimes it makes me physically ill that I can't do more. Or that I don't do more. And the whole prosperity gospel thing makes me want to barf. Guess what? GOD doesn't tell people to buy more shoes, that I am 99.9% certain of. Maybe God was telling her to buy some shoes for one of the millions of people who have none, and she misconstrued what He said...

Better stop here. More coffee is needed before I spout off harsh judgements.

Lisadiana said...

I've often wondered the same thing. Thank you for this. Today my heart started in turmoil in regards to the sell of our house but to know that God did speak and now we must wait.

Laurie said...

Excellent questions, and ones I have also asked myself. Thank you for verbalizing these thoughts and sharing with us.

Paula said...

Sandee, I wrote a post recently that I never pushed publish on... very similar in subject to this, but not nearly so well spoken. You have said what is in my heart! I never know if I am hearing God or if I am hearing what I want to hear... I get so frustrated! I think I'm listening, but maybe not... so tough to know. And a question I'm wrestling with all over again now that we took the plunge and are committed to adopting a sweet little boy from Ethiopia. I guess I'll try listening harder.