I’ve never done very well with silence. It seems to have its own language, one I’m not very fond of. Things often get misinterpreted leaving too much room for the imagination. Hidden insecurities often rise to the surface leaving me to doubt and wonder. I’ve been known to read a face when words do not escape lips; after all the eyes are the window to the soul. It’s difficult to do with an unseen God. I can’t see His eyes to know that the silence might not be all that I believe it to be.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined life to take the twists and turns that have come in these last two years. Often with transformative change there is upheaval, mess and down right weariness. I have been weary beyond words as the elements of what seemed a cold hard winter invaded my soul.
I knew the words of scripture “I will never leave you or forsake you” yet when the silence falls so hard you begin to wonder. Where is God anyways? I couldn’t see Him, I couldn’t feel Him and now He’s gone silent. It has challenged me in ways I’ve not known.
I have been reminded of the 400 years at the end of the Old Testament, before the new. God never left but He sure was quiet. In the silence much was going on behind the scenes. Preparation was being made for the greatest gift that would ever be given, the rescue of the souls of man. Maybe the silence was an indication that He was busy behind the scenes of my life, preparing the gifts. One could hope.
As I sit by the window on this cool day in April I see the evidence of Spring creeping its way across these mountains. I ache with the hope that it too has come to me. I long to feel the winds of the Spirit blowing through me again like the gentle breezes that flow through these trees.
The words came to me again as I contemplated it all. I dared to ask in hopes that this time the sound barrier might be broken. Maybe this time I would hear the whispers that would make some sense of all this, setting my heart to bloom once again with hope. “Why Jesus?” “Why has it been so quiet?” “Why have you been so absent?”
“I never left, Jewel.”
“Then where have you been?”
“Right beside you, holding you, tight.” “It’s been a season of grief.” “You needed to be held in this cold, hard winter.” “Words don’t mean much in the midst of grief and death.” “It’s the holding close that makes a difference. “I wasn’t absent, Jewel.” “I held you while you wept.” “As upheaval has come to your world, as you watched, ached, longed, and have fallen, I have held you.” “I have kept you.” “When life threatened to throw you over the cliff, I grabbed you.” “I was the arms that held you.”
As the words washed over me the vision came. There I was agony on my face, the ache of grief hidden in the walls of my heart, the sobs of the deep, and the arms tightly wrapped around; immoveable, invisible, yet there, tightly swaddling.
“This was a season of being held while you suffered loss, so I held you tight, so very tight.” “Grief has its season.” “It feels like the bleakness of winter, the hardness of the ground where the plants hide away.” “But even grief has its perfect work.” “You have been hidden amidst the grief as life has been changing around you, and in you.”
“I would never leave you for you are too valuable to Me.” “Don’t ever forget that.”
In the twinkling of an eye my heart was opened allowing the gentle breeze of His Spirit to find its way into the depths of my soul. Suddenly I see what I have not known…..
I have been held by God.
©copyrighted: 2013: Julie L. Todd