Sometimes you can't hear the words. God's voice seems silent and far away. It often happens when we're most stressed and we feel most desperate for some kind of answer or encouragement. We long to know we're not alone in our stress.
Well-meaning friends remind us how important it is for us to pray. But how do you even pray when you're stressed out with no words? Praying can feel like another check box that leaves you feeling guilty.
Life is complicated. In an age of information a Google search away, Facebook photos and updates, we can be overwhelmed by answers, choices, and dilemmas. It's hard to hear God when we're frozen, analyzing what to do about our stress.
What we really long for is God's voice, to hear him and his heart. That's a tough thing to do, when we live separated from our hearts in our self-reliant, information-flooded culture.
Ironically, when we are most stressed, we deprive ourselves of what we need most to hear God's voice in everyday stress: God's goodness. We need to give ourselves permission receive God's TLC (tender loving care) so our hearts can open up to hear him.
This is hard for me. Growing up without a dad since I was seven, I have always looked to God as my provider. I didn't realize that God wanted to be more than just my provider. God longed to be my soul's confidante. Deep where I am stressed, where I hide, feel lonely, and struggle to receive, God longs to speak to me.1