When God is Silent
by Ogechi B. Ononuju
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WHEN GOD IS SILENT
Five days ago, I had great hopes after I had prayed and worked so hard and diligently believing for a miraculous answer to my prayers. The morning was bright; the morning breeze so refreshing. The air held a promise of a sunny day after many days of heavenly showers. This heightened my hopes. I received the bright countenance of the day into my spirit as an evidence of the expected answers to my prayers. I knew this was another day of divine evidence. I stepped out this morning in this euphoria of an upcoming divine encounter. Surprisingly, even as I write, I have not received answers to my prayers.
When the answers did not come that day, I felt an overwhelming surge of hopelessness. I am not a novice in the Christian journey and race. My parents are both Pastors. I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour as a 10-year-old girl in July 1993 after my dad had preached a powerful, soul-touching message on salvation. It was in a Sunday Worship Service. I have never looked back ever since. Iíve been baptized by immersion and since 1997 at age 15 have been actively involved in Christian ministry work in Church and while at the university; winning souls. I have seen God do the seemingly impossible and have seen Him do the confirmed impossible too. I have seen a 15-year-old childless marriage visited with a child after doctors had confirmed that the woman had no ovum in her ovaries. Today, the couple has a beautiful biological daughter.
Standing on Godís sure promises and upon the courage and strength drawn from previous evidences of Godís greatness, I had great expectations prior Friday, September 28, 2012. This was not the first time in the recent past that I had dashed hopes after fervent prayers, having faith, sowing good seeds of faith in expectation for a good harvest and praising God in advance. Thus, on that day, I told the Lord that He had succeeded in making me faithless. Iíve learnt to be sincere with God. I really let Him know how I felt but asked Him to help my unbelief and not lead me into temptation so that I will not say things that I would not and should not say to the King of kings.
The next morning, just before stepping out to my cousinís, I knelt and asked the Lord to go ahead of my sister and me, and bring us home again safely. This was the same Ďmeí who had said that I was faithless the previous day. The fact that I made that request and on my knees, expressed and showed my unwavering trust in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Yes, I believe and will never stop believing this Awesome God. Next day was Sunday and it was I who shared the Bread of Life with the brethren during sermon time in Worship Service. It was circumstances beyond my human control that had made the human part of me to get hopeless and depressed earlier.
I completed my studies in Computer Science in 2005. The enemy withstood the release of my result from the University for five years. He did that because he knew that I would not be enlisted and deployed for the national youth service corps program which is a prerequisite for employment, without my B.Sc. result statement. But the Lord led me through those years. I received my B.Sc. result statement in 2010 and completed my youth service program in 2011. Same year 2011, I was offered a scholarship to study and receive a Certificate in social sector management at Pan African University, Lagos. This was a plus in my academic and career endeavours. I have also been involved in community development and environmental sustainability works and have a contract for community development through renewable energy which has not been signed for unknown reason. I have tried to get a paid job but at the edge of each employment process, the process became frozen without reason and with no explanation. During these occurrences, my marriage broke and Iíve had to cater for my son (who clocked 5years old in September 2012) without any support from my ex-spouse. I have school bills, house bills and other bills to pay but all my sources of income are frozen. How frustrating can that get? I would not compromise my faith in the Lord for a piece of bread and like Daniel, would not defile myself with portion of the kingís meat.
I know my God. I have to be strong and do exploit. I intensified and combined hard work with diligence, developed my entrepreneurial ideas and backed it all up in prayers. I kept reminding God of His unfailing promises to me in all these years. I thanked Him for mercy drops and asked Him to hasten His Word to release to the showers of blessing especially now that He asked me to pay great attention to my ministerial calling which I received ten years ago. I believed that the Headquarters of Heaven would either cause my contract papers to be signed, make me called up for a job, make me receive my unpaid seven months allowance from the national youth service corps or any such miracle. But nothing happened. I cried. In my tears and in my heart, I praised Him still for He never disappoints His own.
Yesterday evening, I facilitated Family Meeting (the Bible Study session in my place of Worship). As I got home and meditated on the Words shared at the meeting, it became clearer to me that God did hear my prayers and supplication. It dawned on me that this was a time in my life when God is silent. It is a time when He is working on the left hand side; working in an invisible way. Itís not obvious but God is at work and seriously too.
In eleven daysí time (on Saturday, October 13, 2012), I am supposed to host a Ministers Summit focused on the final quest of the 21st century Pastor. As I write this, the only available resource on the budget is the venue. Does this, in any obvious way, indicate that God is at work? This is the third week since school resumed for the new session. My son is due to be enrolled into a higher class but I cannot afford the school bill and heís still at home. Also, does this in any way indicate that God is at work in my life? Obviously? No. Invisibly? YES!
Though, I know not what the Lord is up to, I do know that He is with me always even to the end of the world. I know that He is at work to give me more than I had prayed for. For it is written, ďI know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected endĒ. Jeremiah 29:11. Remember one of our patriarchs, King David, the man after Godís heart? He said that he never saw the righteous forsaken or the children of the righteous begging bread.
I say the same words to you, dear friend, whoís taken the time to read through this. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8. Does God seem silent in your situation? Hold on, brother. Stay strong, sister. Wipe your tears. God is not slow. He has never been late and He will never be late. Praise Him. Heís up to something that you will see shortly.
Consider how He keeps night and day apart and know that He is at work. See Him move in the trees, through the wind and the breeze. Watch the grasses and flowers in your garden grow and remember that He is at work without a noise. Just as wind power and solar power systems generate and supply electric power to homes and offices without any noise, so is your God and my God working out something cool and awesome on our behalf yet without a noise.
Seek opportunities to wipe our Fatherís tears today and every other day. Keep doing your part as Godís child and emissary on earth. Heís watching you and keeping record. He is not unfaithful to forget our good works and labour of love toward Him and His saints. As much as lies within your power and resources, do good to people and share the love of Jesus Christ with someone every day.
I was born to put smiles on our Fatherís face and I have pledged my allegiance to the Lamb of God and have vowed to fulfill my assignment as much as He enables and empowers me.
If Jesus must shed a tear, it must not be for your sake, dear friend. Keep your Robe creaseless and whiter than snow by the Blood of the Lamb. He will be here to take us Home soon. Remain rapturable and may your Throne Seat back Home in Heaven not be vacant when the Roll is called.
Author: Ogechi Blessing Ononuju (Elsharonn)
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Sister Ogechi, your story, in one way or the other, is similar to the stories of most of us. In the midst of troubles and uncertainties of life, one firm assurance we should always have is that God is eternally good to His children even though we may not fully understand His ways and what He's doing in our lives. What God sees as good for our lives are strictly those things which will support fulfillment of His purpose for our lives, even though we may see them as unpleasant and painful. God is more interested in our fulfilling His purpose here on earth, and will be readily available to give us ALL that is required to do that. The more we understand this, the less our frustration and pain in life! Thank you for sharing your hearts with us. Ezekiel
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