This is a guest post from author and filmmaker Darren Wilson. In episode 18 of the BoldIdea podcast, Darren talked about embracing our journey.
For many people, desperation for a miracle or for God to move in their life is a key moment in their faith walk. During these times of great need our faith is often poised on a kind of razor’s edge, where we outwardly profess God as our Lord and Savior, but inwardly we are filled with doubts, fears, and questions. Fortunately, God isn’t afraid of any of this.
I am often suspicious of Christians who, whenever someone becomes vulnerable and voices their own questions/doubts/fears when it comes to God and faith, give a kind of knee-jerk reaction of total confidence, backed by the requisite Bible verse to prove their point. When someone is in the throes of desperation and questions, the last thing they need is someone telling them to “just have more faith”. They need empathy. They need someone to come alongside them and say, “I know this stinks, but let’s walk through it together.” I’m not sure Facebook theologians have ever done much good for anyone, honestly.
I think there is often an underlying unease amongst many Christians when it comes to their faith in God. When I speak in churches, for instance, my main message is friendship with God, which is ultimately learning to fully trust Him. Having spoken in hundreds of churches at this point, I can say with full confidence that the lack of trust people have in God is overwhelming. When I give a call for prayer for those who are struggling with this, the response is ALWAYS 80% or more of the congregation admitting this is a problem for them.
Americans enjoy their comfort, and we often view it not as a blessing but as a divine right. If God is for us, then things should always go well for us. But that flies in the face of Jesus telling his disciples, His best friends mind you, that “in this world you will have trouble,” (John 16:33). We can’t escape moments of desperate need, but we can have confidence in Jesus’ follow up to this statement: that He has overcome the world.
The problem for many, though, is that often our desperation is met with the silence of God. This in turn makes us think that He has abandoned us or that He has withdrawn from us, and we in response withdraw our affections from Him. But the silence of God does not mean that He doesn’t love you. It is an invitation to press in even more, to seek Him out, knowing that eventually you will find Him, and upon finding Him you will realize how He was with you all along, strengthening you, pruning you, and loving you, even in the silence.
Does desperation move the heart of God? I have no idea. But I know He loves us, and that He is therefore moved by us not because of our need, but because of who we are to Him. But for whatever reason, sometimes His movement in our life isn’t found in a miraculous event, but in the stillness of delay.