There seems to be a lot written about the times when God is silent and you can't sense His presence. From what I've read, those are often extreme times in which believers struggle to hear anything from God. One Old Testament example of this is when God was silent for 400 years before the birth of Jesus. Uh, 400 years is pretty extreme. However, I haven't seen a lot written on the those less-extreme times when you can still sense God's presence, but answers seem to be few and far between.
That's sort of where I've been living in the past few weeks--in the dark. There's light just outside my "door" so I can see enough to keep on doing what I'm supposed to do. I just seem to be stuck here. Tried to step out of that darkness briefly and soon realized that wasn't the right place to be. Hmmm. What to do? I guess I'll just keep waiting here. I've heard that if it's not clear what you're supposed to do, then stay put.
The really fascinating thing about this place is that God keeps reassuring me that the dark is the correct place for me to be--for now. He shows me through scripture and by the things I hear godly people say. About the time I need some encouragement, I see or hear some great quotes like this one from Tony Evans which I heard and quickly wrote down on the chalkboard in my kitchen:
I've also seen scripture which reminds me of God's faithfulness...
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them,
for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6
For the Lord will not abandon His people,
nor will He forsake His inheritance. Psalm 94:14
...and heard some great songs, such as After All by Meredith Andrews. I really like the words to this song which remind me that God is constant (never-changing), He is only good, and He is sovereign.
So, God is here and is "speaking to me," but He isn't giving me the answers I'm looking for. I do appreciate the fact that He continues to remind me that He's still here and He won't forsake me even when things are not at all clear. From the things I've read, these dark places seem to be where God is working to conform us to His will and prepare us for what lies ahead.
That gets me to thinking how many seeds are germinated underground, with very little light. That's where the really important growth takes place. One time I was even given seeds which required scoring before it could be planted. Without cutting open that seed, no growth would happen and the seed would just sit there. However, the scoring process allowed the new life to begin coming out of the ground.
Sometimes a little pain, a little dark, and rain is required for new growth. But... the farmer is still there tenderly coaxing that seed into new growth.