The Silent Treatment
Joy. She’s my five year old. Her name suits her in so many ways that I never could have expected. One of the skills she has developed in her short years is the ability to deliver a zinger. Somehow, it just comes natural for her to speak her mind in a way that can make me burst out laughing, or cut me like a knife, in just a few words.
One morning as we sat together at the table, I read some work papers as she chattered on and on to her dolls about how she “loves pancakes.” In the midst of her chatter, she stopped talking to them and asked me a question. I heard her ask. I processed what she said. But, I wanted to finish reading the current sentence before I answered.
Well, as you can imagine, to a five year old, that brief pause must have felt like a lifetime. Just when I was ready to answer, I was stopped short by one of her zingers….hereit comes: “Well, I guess you’re giving me the silent treatment now,” was her (now famous in our house) response to my silence.
I don’t guess this would have seemed funny coming from an adult, because we are surely know to give one another the “silent treatment.” But from a five year old it was – well, unexpected. Once I collected myself from laughing out loud (and hard), I did my best to answer her question. Ironically, being the typical five year old, by the time I got around to answering her, she didn’t even remember what she had asked and soon went on with playing
Though her zinger caught me by surprise, it also made me wonder: How often have I responded with the “I guess you’re giving me the silent treatment now” comment to my Heavenly Father? Does He laugh out loud at that impatient reply? Does it surprise Him when we react in the same manner as a five year old?
The Psalmist wrote much about waiting (from the NLT):
Psalm 5:3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 27:14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Psalm 62:5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
These verses give us solid instruction on how we should respond when asking something of our Father. First, He should be familiar with our voice, hearing us speak with Him on a regular basis (“each morning”). We should then be brave and courageous while we wait hopefully, and expectantly, for Him. Finally, we display our patience by quietly listening for His reply.
These are just a few of the examples His word gives us on the subject. Since there are so many, I am led to believe that He rarely answers us right away. It seems as though we should be prepared to wait. We know in our hearts that we should never assume that our Father, is giving us the silent treatment.
But aren’t there times when we assume that He is not hearing us?
Do we faithfully lift up our voice to Him?
Do we display a quiet patience as we wait for Him?
Father God, I pray that you we help all that I am to wait quietly before you. My hope is secure in You. Help me to be strong and courageous today and always.
Once a journalism major, Kristy laid down her writing pen in 1989 to pursue other interest. But, in 2008, when life circumstance seemed to become overwhelming, she found that the words, thoughts, and emotions had nowhere else to go but on paper. Kristy has been writing again for the last year and has recently started publishing some of her work on her wordpress blog, “Taste the Smell.”
Kristy is married to husband, Jeff, is a mother to Gillian and Joy, and a caregiver to her disabled mother. Since 2001, Kristy has served in her local church as a teacher, prayer leader, and worship director.
Author own and retains the rights to the submitted works and intellectual material herein.