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The Problem with Silence

This recent season has been one of up and down rollercoaster emotions for me. As you can imagine, I hate this. I love the steady, the stable, the predictable. Life right now has little of that, which is ok. But my heart has been riding this wave and I’m just about sick of it. I wrote this piece out of that place. A place of knowing HE IS GOOD. A place of sometimes feeling that deeply. And a place of sometimes not feeling that at all. But despite that, I speak this from a place of confidence that God can “handle our wild emotions,” and that feelings are a REAL, God-created, and relevant aspect of our being that we should never try to hide away from our Father who perceives our every thought from afar (Ps 139). BUT, when we solely rely on our feelings to guide our heart, they can lead us astray, sometimes to dark places. Places where we cover our ears and close our eyes because it feels scary. But the problem is that, when our ears and eyes are closed, we not only shut out the scary, we also shut out the Light and Truth. And so I know this, and I will proclaim it because I believe it even when, in some moments, I don’t feel it.

The Problem with Silence

The nights close around me

When my days seem most dark.

I can’t see the way out,

Think I’ve snuffed out my spark.

And it’s when my heart’s at its coldest

When it most easily breaks.

I feel weak, I feel lost,

I’ve no reason to wake.

Like somehow though I’ve tried

To let You in, to be brave,

I’m on my own now, this time.

I’ve used up all Your grace.

I don’t see the rescue,

I can’t fathom the plan.

When my world shatters ‘round me,

I’d scream, but I can’t.

Because the silence it presses,

It binds, though it’s air.

It’s one of his favorite weapons,

No he’ll never fight fair.

It’s the absence of victory,

It’s this quiet that reeks

Of my doubt and my guilt,

Of how I’m crippled and weak.

How I’m desperately alone

It brings up all my mistakes.

In the silence it wells up,

And my assurance, it shakes.

But the problem with silence,

That the enemy forgets,

Is that when all is quiet,

Your whisper breaks in.

You weren’t in the fire,

And You weren’t in the quake.

And when I’m stuck here scared screaming,

When the ground I’m on shakes,

I can’t sense your presence,

My eyes squeezed tight in fear,

Yelling, “Where are you, Jesus?

“Why aren’t You here?”

I can’t hear your whisper,

Your voice on the wind.

I can’t feel the hoofbeats

That signal You’re near.

My eyes, they aren’t scanning

The horizon for my Lord.

Closed, they can’t see your promise,

The words that You swore.

When I’m running distracted

I can’t follow your steps,

The brave ones around me,

The examples you’ve set.

I don’t even know they’re there!

Those faithful before,

Because I won’t raise up my head,

I won’t risk any more.

Your freedom feels far,

Miles and miles away

When I’m running in the wrong,

The exactly opposite way.

If only I’d look up,

I’d see that You’ve stayed

My steady defender,

My escape, the only way.

I’d see my rescuer coming,

I could see the fire in your eyes,

There to break all my bondage,

There to battle every lie.

If only I’d stop screaming

And uncover my eyes,

If only I’d look up,

If only I’d give up my fight.

If I would stop running,

If I’d wait for the Lord,

I’d know with no doubt

That the battle was Yours.

Because your yoke, it is easy

And your burden, it’s light.

I’ve nothing to fear there,

It is the Lord who will fight.

Now his fight it is different,

Though it was bloody and dark,

But to You darkness is light,

And for me, light what seems hard.

But when I’m running and mad

There’s a small chance I’ll hear

Your still quiet voice,

Your whisper, I’m here.

But when I’m held by the silence

That I think threatens most,

That’s when you grab me and turn me,

When my pulse finally slows.

You remind me my tripping,

My stumbling falls,

Bring me back to my knees,

Make me remember I’m small.

What the devil meant to scare me,

To convince me I’m alone,

That I’m forsaken and abandoned,

Just brought me back to my home.

To He who never stops longing

To draw me back to his arms.

He will wait till I’m still.

He will wait when I’m far.

It’s your voice in the quiet,

When I’m all out of breath,

The silence that bound me,

You’ve used to break in.

When your voice can get to me,

When it cracks open my heart,

My chains have no chance,

Nor lies told in the dark.

Because my Savior he’s riding,

Now that I’m still I can hear

How he’s coming to save me,

How he’s driving out fear.

He breaks down my strongholds

And swaps them for a crown.

It says holy and righteous,

What was lost has been found.

So when I can sink into the silence,

When I stop running scared,

I’ll know the battle’s near over,

So Satan, beware.

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