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Trusting God When He Is Silent

In an issue of CT magazine, author and college president Krish Kandiah writes:

One of my earliest memories is of holding my mother’s hand on my first day of school. I was so nervous as I entered the classroom that I wouldn’t let go. The warmth of her fingers reassured me as my heart pounded in my chest. When I felt scared and alone, she was my lifeline and my security.

I was reminded of that day a few years ago as I sat in a dark room, once again holding my mother’s hand. The silence was deafening as I strained to hear the muted words coming from the dehydrated mouth of a woman whose body had been ravaged by cancer. This time my mother held on to my hand, seeking reassurance from its warmth in her time of distress. The comforter had become the comforted.

Those were heartbreaking days. One moment I was praying for a miraculous recovery, the next for the end to come quickly. I was also haunted by God’s conspicuous absence. What I would have given during those long, languishing hours for his still, small voice of calm.

Turkish theologian Ziya Meral, writes: Where is God when millions of his children are being persecuted in the most brutal ways? Why does he keep silent in the middle of persecution but speak loudly in the middle of conferences with famous speakers and worship bands? I have prayed many times like Luther: “Bless us, Lord, even curse us! But don’t remain silent!”

Meral’s struggles eventually led him to consider Jesus’ own experience: “The greatest glory Jesus brought to God was not when he walked on the water or prayed for long hours, but when he cried in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and still continued to follow God’s will. (He did so) even though it meant isolation, darkness, and the silence of God. Thus, we know that when everything around us fails, when we are destroyed and abandoned, our tears … are the greatest worship songs we have ever sung.”

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