What to Do When You’re Waiting and Heaven Seems Silent

What do you do when heaven seems silent and your prayers continue to go unanswered? When it seems like everyone else’s prayers are being answered and not yours? How do you continue to trust God when you’re losing hope? I hear you! It can be so hard to wait on God. To trust Him when it seems like nothing is happening. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a space where life does not look like you expected. You thought you would be living your best life by now, doing what you always dreamed of. Maybe you thought you would be married and have a family by now. You didn’t think it would be so hard to get pregnant, but with each monthly cycle, you face the disappointment of an unanswered prayer. Perhaps you had great plans to be your own boss with a thriving business. You didn’t expect the grind of an entrepreneur to be so hard. You thought your ride-or-die friends would always have your back. You never expected them to turn on you and not celebrate your success. Maybe you did not expect your health to begin to fail, to have your marriage implode, or for your kids to lose their way… yet here you are in the center of an unknown or unexpected season of life. Crying out to God, but heaven seems silent. Why would God allow you to enter such a painful place? Why won’t He just speak, extend His hand, send angels, and do something—anything to change your circumstances? 

God, Do You Hear My Prayer?

It can be so hard to trust and wait on God. You’ve prayed, you’ve fasted, you’ve walked by faith and shed some tears. You’ve cried out for help, for someone who will listen, someone who will see you and let you know that you are not alone in this. Someone who gets that the struggle is real! My friend, I hear you! I know the frustration of trying to understand why an all-powerful God does not do something about the situation you’re in. You are trying to just keep it together and not lose your mind as you deal with your current situation. It’s in these times that I want you to know that God sees you, He has not forgotten you, and He hears the cries of your heart. I want you to know that what you are facing is not the end of your story. This is not the final chapter. God has more for you. God has been working in your life. He is currently working. And He will continue to do a good work in your life. He is still writing your story. You will breathe again. You will hope again.

Philippians 1:5 NLT assures us, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” But what do you do in the meantime? What do you do while you wait? 

I waited for over 20 years for God to answer my prayer to bring my husband. When I got married at age 42, Phil was my first boyfriend and first kiss. That’s not because there weren’t guys interested, but rather because I believe God brings two people together for Kingdom purpose, and I was determined not to settle. There are so many things I learned during that season, but the one I want to share with you today is about living a life of total surrender to God. We see that in the life of Jesus. He said:

“I have come down from heaven not to do my will but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38  

“I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me… I always do what pleases him.” John 8:28-29 

“So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us, I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.” Romans 12:1 GNT 

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/KevinLeah 

Placing Your Heart’s Desire on the Altar

I want to encourage you to live a life of total surrender, focused on serving and pleasing God. As followers of Christ, we build an “altar” in our hearts, and we are the sacrifice. It is not easy to do, especially in our culture today, when there is immense pressure to build a platform and expand your influence. However, so many of the teachings of Jesus are counter to the ways of the world. His Word instructs us to be a living sacrifice. Instead of being consumed with building a platform, we need to build altars. Not physical altars, but rather altars in our hearts where we offer all we are as a living sacrifice. 

The altar is the place where we encounter God in a deeper way. I experienced that when I got to the point where I laid everything on the altar, including my desire to be married. I had been meditating on Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (NLT). I reflected on the fact that everything I had came from God and ultimately was His. I decided to put all that I owned on the “altar.” He had blessed me with a beautiful home and had entrusted me with the things I had. So, if I honestly believed this, I reasoned, then I should have no issue with letting go of something if He chose to entrust it to someone else. After mulling this over for some time, I decided to put it to the test. I wanted to know if there was anything in my life that I was holding on to more than Him. 

About that time, three friends were each looking to get a place of their own. I wanted to bless them by giving them items from my home I thought they would like and find useful in their apartments. As I rummaged through my kitchen, I thought, “This is going to be so great. Instead of having a garage sale, I’m going to give away the things I no longer need. I’ll be getting rid of clutter, and they are getting things they can use in their new places.” But as soon as I heard myself say that, I slowly set down the never-used serving dish I was holding and looked at the amassed items. I suddenly realized I was going about this all wrong. I was picking items that I wanted to get rid of or had no issue giving away. And if I picked the items, then I was selecting what I felt comfortable releasing. That was not truly letting go of anything. I knew I needed a new approach.

I decided to invite my friends to come to my house. I shared why I had invited them over and explained how I had been reading in Scripture that everything comes from the Lord and belongs to Him. I was grateful He entrusted me with the things for a season, and I believe He wanted to entrust them with the items. I told them, “I would love for us to walk through each room in my house, and anything you see that you want, it’s yours to take.”

They initially looked at me like I had lost my mind, but it eventually began to set in. They began to see the home they had visited on other occasions through a new lens. Instead of it being “Grace’s home and things,” it was the Lord’s house and the Lord’s things—things that He wanted them to have and enjoy.

Each friend focused on different items as they walked through my home. One was starting a new job, so she cleaned out my closet and took a large duffel bag full of clothes and accessories. Another focused on kitchen items and took my KitchenAid mixer and an assortment of serving dishes, pots, and baking pans. The third friend focused on my home decor, including wall art, artificial plants, lamps, etc. I absolutely loved walking through the house and seeing their eyes light up as they saw something they wanted. I must admit, I had a slight moment of panic at one point when I realized my car keys were on the kitchen counter. If my car was taken, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to work; however, I figured God would work something out.

Over the course of a two-week period, the walls in my home became bare. The house became darker without lamps. My cooking process had to be adjusted since I no longer had the use of certain tools, gadgets, and cookware. And it was a little challenging to mix and match outfits with the remaining clothes in my sparse closet. But none of that mattered because I was focused on something else. I wanted to live open-handed and totally surrendered. To know there wasn’t a “thing” I was holding on to more than God. I’m not saying it was easy. Especially since it was not the plan to go rush out and replace whatever they had taken. But through it all, I had found myself in a place where nothing was more important to me than whatever God wanted, and I was elated! Essentially, everything in my house had been placed on the “altar,” and I did not rush to take anything back. A huge part of the experience was learning to be content with what I had. I felt like I had moved a little closer to understanding what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11 when he said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (NIV).

I do not share this experience to suggest you invite people to walk through your home and take whatever they want. It’s not something I have done again! I share it to stir in our hearts a posture of surrender. To yield all that we are and all that we have to God. To not hold on to anything the Lord may want us to let go of. To present ourselves to Him as living sacrifices He can use for His purpose. To live a life where there is nothing that we want more than to be with the Lord and to please Him. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:21 that “everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (NIV). As believers, I want to encourage each of us to look out for the interests of Jesus Christ. His interests always involve looking out for the interests of those He loves.

The Unexpected Gift from Surrender in the Waiting Season

For years, I asked the Lord why He was having me wait so long. Twenty seemingly never-ending years. I never got an answer. I asked God, “Why do some people wait only two years to get married, and I waited two decades? It was not until after I got married that the Lord finally answered and simply asked, “Grace, would you rather have a faith that is two years deep or two decades deep?” That’s when I got it. The waiting season cultivated a level of faith and developed spiritual growth that no other season could have done. I want to encourage those of you who are in the waiting season right now to trust God and His timing. I know some of you may have been waiting even longer than I did. I want you to know that God has not forgotten you. He is still working. He is doing something so beautiful in your life that could only happen through this process. Heaven may seem silent, but it is never deaf. Growth and transformation are happening in the waiting season. You are becoming more like Him.

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Matese Fields

Grace Wabuke Klein writes about many more things she learned in the waiting season in her new book FLOURISH: Finding Purpose in the Unknown and Unexpected Seasons of Life. Grace is an author and speaker. She and her husband of five years live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work with churches across the country. Connect with Grace at @gracewabukeklein or

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