A good friend of mine fights discouragement lately as she waits for God to provide her with a godly husband. It just seems at times that God is quiet. Too quiet. Has He forgotten me, she wonders?
The Christian life is full of just such times, waiting on God in silence. Sometimes the silence goes on for long periods of time, other times you can hardly keep up with all He is doing and saying.
When the quiet times come, I used to think God was upset with me—like I had done something and He had withdrawn from me in a rejecting sort of way. I would get all worried, wondering what I did to bring about such silence, and what I could do to break it. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't prompt God to get in touch (perceivably) again.
These days are different. I read a devotion (I think by William Gurnall) several years back that said God withdraws from us, not because He is upset or punishing us, but in order to teach us to walk by faith. Just as you teach a toddler to walk, you can't hold their hands forever. You have to step back and teach them to do it on their own. That is the only way they become stronger.
So I assure my friend. Just like waiting for a great play to start, God has not forgotten you. He is teaching you to walk by faith even when you don't see Him working or hear Him speaking. As you walk and wait on the dark stage of silence for your next cue, know that the lights will go up, the curtain will open, and the great play of adventure will be underway.