For years, Verizon sold their cell phone service with an advertising campaign that asked, "Can you hear me now?" There is nothing more frustrating than a dropped call in the middle of a conversation. Imagine that happening when you are talking to God. Can you hear me now, Lord? An ancient prophet named Habakkuk cried out, "O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?" (1:2)

Has God ever trusted you with his silence? Yes, sometimes God actually uses divine silence to draw us into a deeper intimacy with Him.

I know, I know. That sounds strange and contrary to how we experience most relationships. For example, if I give my wife the silent treatment, or vice versa, we will grow apart. Communication is essential in marriage. Silence actually drives a deep wedge between a husband and wife. But God's ways are not ours. Sometimes He uses silence as a way of saying, "Trust me! I have everything under control."

At other times, God's silence is an indication that something is awry in our relationship with Him. Indeed, He cannot hear us when sin causes a breach in our fellowship with Him. Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me." That's a scary verse of Scripture. God remains deaf to our prayers when sin reigns in our life.

The words "how long" in Habakkuk chapter one and verse two suggests the prophet had been struggling with God's silence for some time. C.S. Lewis once remarked about the times it seemed heaven's doors were "bolted and double-bolted" when he prayed.

Habakkuk is not the only person in Scripture that endured seasons of divine silence. The psalmist David cried out "how long" four times in Psalm 13. “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

Imagine. King David, the man after God's own heart, struggled with the Almighty's silence. Both he and the prophet Habakkuk wondered, "God, are you there? Can you hear me now?"

It shouldn't surprise us that doubts flood our soul when God is silent. But that's the time to move closer to Him, resisting the urge to drift away.

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