Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Silent Treatment


It seems, unfortunately, that we are always keenly aware of what we are missing (even to the point of overlooking what we do have). This time of year, especially, it seems the thing that is lacking feels that much more lacking - or the thought of going on without it seems that much more unbearable. I'm not sure why, really - maybe its the family gatherings and togetherness that remind us of where we are in life (and the gap between where we would've liked to have been with another year close)? Or perhaps its all this wonderful awful vacation time that leaves us with too much time to think and worry? Or maybe there is more going on that we are aware of, maybe we are decieved with our own thoughts and self-pity in order to distract us from the real mystery of this time of year?

A person I care very much for is not talking to me and it makes me sad...and frustrated. Sad because I feel this whole thing could be cleared up with one conversation...and frustrated for kind of the same reason with the additional aspect that I can't do anything about it. I think this is the most disheartening part about it and possibly the reason it occupies so much time in my mind. I've laid this one at the cross so many times in prayer only to turn around and pick it right back up again. Why is it so hard to relinquish control? And then in frustration I start to get angry with God (who also seems to be giving me the silent treatment right now).

In my more rational moments I know that good-weather-only friends are not worth having (myself included, sorry God). And that there is an ultimate plan and purpose to my life (and it is good).

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"(Jeremiah 29:11)

And I also know that I need to "wait"...

"This is what the LORD says: 'In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you...'" (Isaiah 49:8)

"...but those who wait on [or hope in] the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
(Isaiah 40:31)

And further that "waiting" doesn't mean sitting still - the original Hebrew word for "wait" in that last passage is "quavah" (pron. ku-vuh) and is associated with "look for" and "gather" "to collect". I'm not pretending to know anything about Hebrew (other than what concordance will tell you) but the collection of those words makes me think "study". And I'm reminded of this looming project that I have yet to finish. I may only think I'm waiting on God, but He may actually be waiting on me.
Something happened the other night as I was furiously typing an angry prayer or rather an angry blog (I knew I would never post). In the middle of my asking "why" - I suddenly felt more hopeful. I didn't receive any specific answer to what I was asking but I was suddenly reminded of all the things that were good in my right now. My family, the familiarity of home, all of my very sweet, very good-and-bad weather friends, my job (I had a semi-scare about losing that recently), my health, and the hope I have for the future. And I found myself thanking God (rather than being angry at Him). What occured to me next was in Psalm 22 - its the famous scripture that Christ quoted on the cross "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" That Psalm starts out on that tone (sad and angry) and continues on that note for several stanza's then suddenly takes and upward leap in verse 23 "You who fear the LORD, praise him!" and David praises him for the rest of the Psalm. I always had the impression that was what you were supposed to do (praise him despite your feelings or circumstances) but I wondered this time, if David too had received his hope right in the middle of his prayer. The thing that he needed more than the answer to his question; his daily bread.

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