"Always winter, never Christmas."
Have you ever felt like that? Like day after day after day you're slogging through the gray and the wet and the dreary, thinking surely there has to be a light at the end of the much-talked-about tunnel...but finding none?
For the last four months that's what I've been feeling...one day bleeding gray and hopelessness into another...looking and listening for a movement of God...but being disappointed.
It's like you've been put on hold and the silence is so noisy it's deafening...and you could scream!
To say I was feeling a little depressed...and set aside...and forgotten...would be an understatement.
Like a wild cat confined to a cage, I was beginning to pace. And roar. And lash out.
I hated who I was becoming but no matter how hard I tried, I could not fight off the darkness surrounding me.
There were many reasons for this...health issues...a restricted way of eating that was taking away all my comfort and joy and freedom...my mom being in critical condition, swaying on a pendulum between life and death...a husband in pain, awaiting a hip replacement...and on and on and on. On one of those stress scales I was probably off the charts, hanging on by a very thin thread.
I was angry at God...the God Who supposedly "Is There" but evidently not where I was. No matter how I struggled to apply all those spiritual disciplines that are supposed to yield fruit and answers, all I got was nothing. Nada. Just me, myself, and I in a dark night of my soul, waiting for the Son to rise...
But lest you despair as I was, last week a ray of light finally broke through the storm clouds. I was attempting to have devotions...again...tears streaming down my face and frustration boiling higher and higher...screaming out in my spirit for something! Anything! Why don't You answer me??
Flipping like a mad woman through the Bible in search of any nugget of food, I came upon this...
"And the Lord said to Moses."
What the?? He spoke to Moses? Why can't He speak to me!?
I started flipping faster and faster and everywhere I looked I saw, "And the Lord spoke to Moses."
Which only made me madder than a wet hen.
Today I counted them...all the times "The Lord spoke to Moses" at the beginning of every chapter head from Exodus to Leviticus and Numbers...50 times!!! And that does not count all the times He spoke to him in the middle of the chapters!!
So I started asking people about this and all their answers, as well intended as they were, sounded like "Blah, blah blah." I needed God to defend Himself on this evidently...why one man got like 50 direct conversations with God and I couldn't get one? Seriously?
Well, today I got one. And it wasn't the one I thought He owed me. Yeah, attitude is right. He and I are still working on that...
My answer came as I turned to Deuteronomy to check how many times God talked to Moses there that He stopped me dead in my tracks...and this blew my mind...
God didn't speak to Moses there! Instead, Deuteronomy starts off with these words...
"These are the words which Moses spoke to all of Israel..."
Moses was finally ready to say something! But first he had had to spend years listening to the Lord speak to Him throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Years!
Ouch. Stopped dead in my tracks.
What I heard the Lord saying was this..."This is your season to listen. To be still. To be quiet. It is My will and plan for you. Someday, I will open the doors of what seems like a cage to you and set you free. But in the meantime you have to trust Me. I speak as loudly in the silence as I do in the storm. You are not forgotten. You are not alone. I am with you always...even unto the end of the world."
Okay, He didn't actually say all those words but that's what I heard in my Spirit...words of life and encouragement and truth. And now I am holding on to them for dear life. And you can, too.
We live in an age of instant connection and gratification. If we want watermelon in the winter, we can have it...no reason to wait til they come into season next summer here. If we want an answer, we Google our question and seconds later all we ever wanted to know and more is at our fingertips.
I love that I live at such a time as this! But what I don't love is that I see now that I was expecting God to meet my needs, in my time. Now. If not sooner.
I had forgotten, too easily I fear, His faithfulness in past desert wanderings...the many times He had replaced impatience with Faith...despair with Hope...and loneliness with His Loving Presence.
I had forgotten the testimonies of all the saints that have gone before me who also felt alone...and afraid...and scared. Saints who learned perseverance and faith through the things they suffered...not in spite of them!
All the times I had been screaming out, "I can't find my way home!" I should have been saying, "I can't find my way Home...Home to You."
But like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I am finding Home is right where I am. Now. It's not where I'm going to be...tomorrow or someday. He is my Home and He will never leave me nor forsake me no matter how loudly my doubts and fears scream.
So, that's where I am going to rest. In Him. In the God Who is there and is not silent, though often He speaks in whispers...
And He makes us still so we can hear them.