"I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer."
The silence of God.
That's a hard one. For all of our talk about God's compassion and care, for all of our talk about God's presence with us, for all of our talk about God being aware and involved and active in our lives . . . there are still those times . . . when God is silent.
Job certainly dealt with the silence of God. The Psalmist struggled often with God's silence. Even Jesus on the cross wondered about the silence of his Father. And if we are honest, we will admit that we, too, know the silence of God.
Of course, it is God's right to be silent. Still, it is heart-breaking when, as Job says, we cry out to God and God does not answer.
But that's not the end of the conversation. Even when God is silent . . . we know that he is there. The text of Kim Andre Arnesen's choral piece reminds us of this profound truth:
I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining
I believe in love, even when I feel it not
I believe in God, even when He is silent
I could tell you what a beautiful piece of music Arnesen has composed, but I'll go even further than that. You can listen to it yourself! It's at the bottom of this devotional; simply click the arrow in the middle of the screen.
Before you do that, however, just a little more backstory. The conductor/artistic director of this piece is a young musician named Mark Singleton. I have known Mark his entire life. In fact, Mark and his family are probably the best friends I have in all the world. We have walked together for decades, and we have dealt together with the silence of God. Together, we have walked very, very close to the valley of the shadow of death. Together, we have dealt with unspeakable heartache. Together, we have wondered why God can be so quiet when we ask our impossible questions.
Through all of that, we learned together that God is present even when we cannot see him. Together, we learned that God is with us even when he refuses to answer our questions. Together, we learned that God is worthy of our trust even when he is completely silent.
It's a beautiful piece of music. To me, it is even more beautiful because it is shaped and guided and conducted by my dear friend, Mark Singleton. How good of him to share these remarkable musical gifts that God has given him!
Enjoy Kim Andre Arnesen's Even When He Is Silent.