Whenever I was in trouble, or someone did not like me, or did not like something I had done, they would use "silence" to punish me. For someone with the gift of encouragement, and a love language of "spending time" there are two things that quickly quash my passion.
Rejection and silence.
The last couple weeks, I've been thinking about John the Baptist. Here is a man who spent years in the wilderness, perhaps in silence, learning how to hear the voice of God. He had a calling, to prepare the way for Jesus. He took it extremely seriously because he would ultimately be the most faithful man when it came to authentic Christianity. He followed the law, he knew scripture and he put it all into action, all by FAITH.
John was in the limelight for quite some time, baptizing and preaching, encouraging others to repent and impacting thousands upon thousands of people. His entire purpose was in full display. He was energized, working in his gifts...preparing the way.
When Jesus came... so did silence in Johns ministry. So much so, others noticed and questioned John about it. John's answer was very noble and one we try to mentor.
"You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:28:30
Yet, once in silence and in prison, John asks this...
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Matthew 11:2-3
Maybe the silence got to John. He had poured his entire life into preparing the way for Christ and when Christ came, so did the silence.
I can relate to his question. I've felt that way myself. Maybe it was after my children got older to no longer fully depended on me, or perhaps when a friend needed help, but when they got back on their feet, they no longer needed me, or family members that didn't seem to need me.
Silence could have been my defeat...
Until God spoke...BE "STILL" AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Please read that slowly and let it soak in.
I hope to encourage you, much as God encouraged me, that you will never run out of purpose, even if it feels like you have come to your end in a situation...there is more...much more...there are loads of opportunities that God will ask of you if you continue to be a willing vessel. You don't need glory or credit, you don't even need a "thanks Mom, thanks friend, or I couldn't have made it through without you. You just need to be still and know that He is God. If in that situation silence comes, as I've learned, it doesn't mean that it's punishment, it means that God has taken over and he leaves His peace with you for you to be able to clearly hear Him again.