“God’s silences are His answers. If we only take as answers those that are visible to our senses, we are in a very elementary condition of grace.” ~ Oswald Chambers
This word is thrown around a lot. I am not going to pretend that many of you, the reader, do not know what this means because, well… We are a bit too acquainted with the word.
We know that it means we receive something without having to wait. Even if by chance the definition is not known, culturally, the American lifestyle reflects it.
When you go to a “fast” food restaurant, how quickly do you expect to get your food?
If you open your pantries and you desperately need a food item, not many Americans look out back at a garden or farm and say, “Shoot, only 2 more weeks till it’s ripe!”
Typically, we drive to a store and buy it. Instantly.
Or what about money?
Iconically, J.G. Wentworth financial services coined the phrase, “It’s my money, and I need it now!”
Now, if you think that I am suggesting that these expectations are inherently bad, you would be mistaken. Nonetheless, my point is this.
Living in this atmosphere, more times than not, will move you to impose cultural standards onto an eternal God. To this I say, you will not get the same results.
Henry David Thoreau once suggested that, “Things do not change, we change.” To Christianize this quote, I would claim this.
As humanity trended downward to this state of instant gratification and broken patience, God never changed. He remained and remains perfectly patient (Psalm 86:15).
Being perfectly patient also means that He will patiently wait to answer prayers when they accord with His will. However, do not mistake this as Him not giving an answer. Waiting is a verb and conscious response (Ephesians 6:18). Maybe, when we pray a righteous prayer and we hear silence, we should allow the Spirit to interpret this in a way we can understand- “Not yet” (1 John 5:14-15).
Truly these types of responses are a trial of faith, but even more than that, they are a workout for spiritual maturity (Romans 5:3-5; Colossians 1:27-28). It could be taking you from what Chambers calls an “elementary condition of grace” to a “lifestyle of grace” (2 Corinthians 9:8-15; 12:9)