I found myself on a plane, in route across the country to a recovery center. I had spent the six months prior to that flight in the darkest place I had ever been. Anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation consumed me. After multiple doctors, an inpatient hospitalization, variations of prescriptions, and motivational speakers on YouTube, I still felt like I was drowning. I had attempted suicide twice and failed.
I had a lot to be grateful for before that time in my life despite the circumstances I found myself in. I had a healthy little boy, recently graduated from college, accepted my first teaching position, and was with the guy of my dreams…, but I still could not get control over my mind that was constantly telling me none of that even mattered. I found myself crying out to God, pleading for answers and a way to escape the darkness I was in–but I did not feel like He was listening.
A lot of people may encounter a similar thought–we believe that God is there, but at times we doubt that He hears our cries and cares that we are hurting. He just seems…silent. We want Him so badly to answer us, to solve our problems. Doesn’t He care when we are in pain? We get stuck in our waiting.
The reality of the truth is He DOES care–but sometimes He makes us wait. In Zephaniah 3:17, we are reminded that however long the silence seems, God promises that it is only temporary. I discovered that we must learn to trust God for His Presence despite what we feel. Eventually, as I began diving into His Word and connecting with Him daily (amidst my depression and anxiety), I gradually regained the ability to feel His Presence and experience His peace, just as James 4:8 declares.
The fact is that God is always working behind the scenes—in the silence. He is at work. To the dark places, in the wake of destruction, He gives light, healing, and hope. All He asks for in return is our attention and time. Once I started devoting that to Him, it became evident where He was working in my life, and because of Him, I was eventually able to escape the darkness I felt trapped in–and that was something no doctor, prescription, or motivational video could ever do for me.
Waiting can seem harsh until we realize that it is eternal life, not immediate, that God is fighting for. If you find yourself today in the storm of destruction or in the silent waiting—we can celebrate the truth that God hears you, and He will not waste your waiting. “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8).
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