I have not been reading much or talking much or writing much. Marissa has been in the hospital and the days are going by with such quietness. After the flurry of the first days of test after test, now we are waiting. We are waiting to see if the long-awaited trial drug is going to start fighting the cancer, waiting to see if they can manage the nausea and side effects, waiting to see if she can climb out of this new place where she has fallen.
It is very still in this place.
Sometimes stillness can be an enemy but mostly I find it a friend. I find that even when my sad thoughts are swirling round, there is comfort and truth swirling right alongside. I find over and over that God is real and His words are real.
I find that He is my anchor in this storm. This storm of quietness.
Marissa’s physical battle screams in the silence. This sudden plunge into distress has us wondering, how should we pray? What is God doing? We want to be confident in His power, yet submissive to His will. We want to trust in His goodness in the worst kind of pain. We want to be faithful even when wondering.
We want to be full of faith even when He is quiet.
I remember my pastor preaching out of Matthew 15 where the Canaanite woman is begging Jesus to rescue her daughter from suffering. “And he did not answer her a word,” Matthew 15:23 tells us. I have written in the margin of my Bible this:
Sometimes God is silent.
Because He is sometimes. It doesn’t mean He is not listening. It doesn’t mean He is not loving. It doesn’t mean we should stop asking. His silence is temporary and purposeful. The Canaanite woman continued to cry out to Him, and He eventually answered her. He eventually recognized her faith and healed her daughter.
He eventually spoke words of forgiveness and healing and peace.
I know with absolute certainty that God could heal Marissa in one moment and with one word. I know that with one act, his death on the cross, He has already secured eternal healing for her.
But for now, He is silent. For now, we continue to ask.
We are waiting, still, in this storm of quietness.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. Psalm 37:7