When Tony and I moved here to the States in 1987, probably the toughest part of our lives so far at a spiritual level kicked in. Why? God became silent. He stopped talking to us.
Back in the UK, nearly everything had gone well. It was relatively easy to know what God was saying. In fact, when he spoke to us about moving to Texas, his leading was so clear that we sold our house and moved here, knowing no one. We felt a bit like Abraham, but were confident he would continue to lead us clearly.
And then silence.
No clear direction.
It wasn’t so much the little things. It was that clear sense of direction, knowing we were following him, in the center of his will, that was missing.
To start with, we confessed every sin, real or imaginary, that we could think of. After all, we reasoned, sin separates us from God.
We tried everything. We had faith, we prayed against the enemy.
Then I got angry with God. How could he bring us here and then drop us? Needless to say that didn’t work either.
Finally, I came to the place where I realized my total dependence on him. If God chose to leave me on the shelf and never to use me again, that was his prerogative. He is the potter, I’m mere clay in his hands.
A number of things died at that point–any desire for limelight, any sense of entitlement, any hankering to be anything beyond ordinary.
It was then, after nine years of God’s kind of seminary on the backside of the desert, his training in the school of wilderness experience, that, God, in his mercy, started speaking again.