Sometimes, when we are most desperate for God, God seems to have left the building.
C.S. Lewis wrote this in his journal when he was struggling with grief over losing his wife:
“Meanwhile, where is God? …When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him…if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be—or so it feels—welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become.”
This is the experience of Jesus in Gethsemane on the night of his arrest.
Three times he asks the same thing from God the Father.
Why? No doubt it’s because the first two times he hears nothing.
God the Father has seemingly slammed the door in his face.
The silence of the Father is what Jesus experiences while he prays desperately in the garden.
We’re going to look at Jesus is the Garden of Gethsemane this weekend and think about what we should do when we experience God’s silence when praying desperate prayers.
If you’re experiencing God’s silence right now, I’m praying you’ll hear from God before this weekend service is over.
If you’ve stopped talking to God because you came to the conclusion that you may as well turn away, I’m hoping you’ll start praying again.
Maybe this isn’t your experience right now, but you know someone who finds themselves in this place. Maybe you should prayerfully consider inviting them.