Silence happens

By Dave Henning / September 9, 2013

In the concluding portion of Chapter 14 of Who is This Man? John Ortberg states that it’s not quite true that nothing happened on Saturday after Jesus’ death.  Silence happened- the pain of silence and the seeming absence of God.  C. S. Lewis noted in A Grief Observed that when we are happy, we have no sense of needing God.  So happy, in fact, that it’s tempting to view God’s claims upon us as interruptions.  Paradoxically, it is when our need is most desperate that God appears to be absent.  C. S. Lewis explains that we find:

“A door slammed in your face and  a sound of bolting and double-bolting on the inside.  After that, silence.  You may as well turn away.  The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become . . . . What can this mean?  Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in trouble?”

Pastor Ortberg then lists three possible responses to God’s apparent silence: (1) despair; (2) denial; and (3) waiting- working with God even when He seems far away.  In truth, any suffering we go through is suffering Jesus will endure in order to save us.  Jesus defeated death, the author notes, by submitting Himself to it rather than proclaiming His invincibility over it.  Pastor Ortberg concludes:

“If you can find this Jesus in a grave, if you can find him in death, if you can find him in hell, where can you not find him?  Where will he not turn up?”

Today’s question: What intentional activities have you found helpful in sensing God’s presence when all seems silent?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the latest Short Meditation- “Lessons from a Cattleya” (a type of orchid)

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button