I noticed my actions during a turkey hunt a few mornings ago. I had not heard a bird gobble for a few days, so there I was waiting again for that familiar sound. I always arrive just before daylight and make my way to a central place in order to be heard should I do a shock call and in order that I might hear the location of a bird should it choose to respond. Or sometimes I just wait silently and let the birds talk on their own. This was my position the other morning. I just stood and listened and then I sat and listened. As the sun began to rise, listening would now have to be filtered through other noises that might easily drown out the specific call I was listening for. Sometimes those other sounds are known to get a tom talking especially the caw of a crow or the shout of a rooster. Nothing seemed to stir the angst of any gobbler that morning. So, I just waited as the morning grew older and refused the urge to muddy the air with my attempt to locate a bird. I decided to go to the place of my last encounter. I did so, called, and was met with the gobble I had come to hear. It was there all the time – silent. I was there all the time as well – patient. I wonder what would have happened if my silence had been replaced with noise and my patience had been replaced with activity. I’m pretty sure I know.
As I stood atop that hill that morning, I was reminded how many times my call to God has seemingly been met with silence. Many of those times I equated silence with absence and left too soon. Sometimes I determined His silence meant I needed to call louder and more frequent. This too I misinterpreted. God’s silence is not His absence and it is also not His desire to hear more from me for Him to be convinced. Most of the time His silence is a test to see how my faith in Him has progressed. Not that He needs to know (He already does), but so I might know if my trust is based on sight and sound or simply by the promises He has already given me. What should I do when I perceive His silence? I should do exactly what I did the other morning. Go to the place of my last encounter and wait.