“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.” Isaiah 55:10 (NLT)
It is difficult to understand why God is sometimes silent. Our routine of daily prayer and bible reading, our weekly attendance at church, our desire to live our lives for His glory all continue unabated and yet God is silent. Why? It seems so contrary to His nature and His love for us as revealed in His Son. Yes the heavens daily declare His glory and the earth shows forth His handiwork, we hear sermons and we read devotionals, all the while listening intently for His still small voice, but in the reverberation of it all, only silence. Why?
One of the most beautiful metaphors in all of scripture, describing how God speaks, is found in the writings of Isaiah the prophet. There God’s thoughts and words, proceeding from His mouth in heaven are likened to rain and snow that fall upon the earth. (Isaiah 55:9-11) The earth, representing the soil of our hearts, immediately receives the rain and absorbs its nourishment. We rejoice in hearing God’s words and anticipate with thankfulness the fruit that it will bear in our lives.
But what then when the seasons change? A growing darkness encroaches upon our days, chilly winds blow in from the north and our cold hearts begin to long for the warm spring and summer rains. But alas it is snow that starts to fall and as it blankets the soil of our hearts, it muffles the still small voice. As a season of dormancy sets in, the snow with its life giving moisture is frozen in time and space. God is silent. It is as if God’s very thoughts and words are sealed in a myriad of intricately beautiful, quiescent crystals.
This picture of God’s voice coming to us in the form of snow affords us a glimpse into the mystery of His silence.