Sometimes we give our children instructions without explanation.
“Kids, get your shoes and coats on.”
“Because we told you to.”
As I’m sure you can guess, they really are not happy when we do that to them. They want to know all of the details, and we just don’t always give the details.
There are various reasons why we don’t always share the reason for what we’ve asked of them. Sometimes it is because we have a surprise for them. Other times it is because we are trying to train them to obey immediately and without question. Still other times we are working to teach them to trust us. Trust that our desire is to provide what is best and perfect for them. Trust that our decisions for them are good, even when they don’t always seem so in the immediate.
Doug and I try to balance the times we don’t give our children details with times when we share with them what is coming. Not everything has to be hidden. But, enough must be hidden for them to learn. The more accepting they are of the times when we do not disclose information, the more frequently we can go ahead and give them details.
I can say from experience that being on the knowing end of this form of teaching is infinitely more fun than being on the learning end. But, I know to teach my children this way because this is how God teaches me. In fact, He’s using this method to teach me right now, and it’s tough. He is withholding information and expecting me to trust Him.
So often when God teaches us through silence, it is easy to buy into the lie that He does not love us. That He is withholding good from us. That He does good things for others but, for some reason, not for us. We are not good enough. We are not deserving enough. We are not obedient or trusting enough.
Oh how opposite from truth those thoughts are! When I stop to realize that I am trying to parent my children based on His wisdom, I suddenly gain an amazingly different view on His silence. It is not harmful; it is loving. It is not withholding good things; it is waiting to overwhelm us with the best of provision.
Is God silent in your life right now? Do your pleadings for help and information seem to be falling on deaf ears? Try to stop and think of the last time you withheld information from a child or loved one just so you could accomplish a lavish surprise of love. Then realize that God’s lavish love for us is more profound than any we could pour over our loved ones. Choose to walk in obedience, even in darkness, knowing that the coming surprise is more beautiful than anything you could ever anticipate.