Does God keep Silent?
Translated by Tsigereda Shimeles
July 17, 2023
Why does God keep silent during the increment of hardships on Church?
Just as we cry out to God for a solution when we face problems in our personal lives, we expect a solution from Him when torment rounds Church. In our understanding, assuming He is slow or silent, we say why? We say how can God remain silent whilst Priests are slaughtered, Churches are being burned, laities being hunted, Scriptures being pinched, Holy Temple looted? We are saying this perhaps because we expect something to destroy the people who do this. No matter what we think, we get confused if things do not go the way we expected, then we give up.
First of all, we should acknowledge of how suffering itself is “a way of talk of God.” He speaks in many ways. As by nature He speaks with the tongue of Saints in scriptures and miracles, He also speaks to us through sufferings. if one asks “Why is He talking to us through suffering” it is because we do not hear Him speak in the other language of creation.
Thus before saying “God is silent and did not listen to us? It is better to ask ourselves “why did we not listen to God? We must also seek to know what He is craving to teach us through this suffering. We shall know what to fix. When we begin to examine ourselves frequently, then we will understand what God says in suffering. When we discern ourselves and understand what is being said to us and straighten up what we have twisted, then we might ask why He is silent and receive answer.
Foremost His reason might be to give time for those who would repent; For there are forefathers who repented and reach at holiness though they cased Holy Church as in scripted in history of the Church. To mention some of the two, first is Saint Paul, whose story is written in the Acts, who chased Christians and the Church, was the collaborate during Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, and also in the martyrdom of Saint Stephen, after that who threaten to imprison and while his excursion to fulfill his mission, was called by the Grace of God and rebuke.
Let’s remember that if God had not tolerated and destroyed Saint Paul because of the suffering he caused on the Church, how would we have found the light that he brought to the whole world through his preaching? Indeed, Christians who were in that era and saw the suffering caused by him, before he was called to Christianity, if there were those who asked, “Why is this man casing all this suffering and God kept silent?” and after he was chosen, do you notice they would say “God is right in all His works, He tolerated Saul, who was his best vessel, so that he could be a teacher for us all”?
The other was known for persecuting the Church and torturing Christians, but Later on, because of Gods patience, was called to Christianity and martyred was Aryan. During the reign of Diocletian, he was the governor of Alexandria, and because of his brutality many officers tortured the martyrs, when they would not die and being tired, they sent them to this man. This cruel man used to torture and killed them with various kinds of suffering. Many martyrs have suffered and received the crown of martyrdom .
But in the end, God brought him back to Amin through His wisdom. He made him taste the tittle suffering caused on Christians. When he used to shoot the Christians with arrows and be enthused to see their suffering, one of the arrows, he was shooting retuned and impaled his eye. The pain was very agony. It was at this time he was cured with the blood of the martyrs by the advice of one of the believers in the area. Finally he witnessed in the name of Christ and died as a martyr. His day is celebrated on the eighth day of Megabit, (March 17) (Book of Synaxarium Yekatit 20, Megabit 8)
We understand from these Saints that God is giving time to repent when he tolerates people who cause suffering on Church. How do we know that there will be those who will come back by God’s call and become martyrs themselves, or might be those who will encourage us to become martyrs?
When we face suffering, God can be silent until the time for us to understand His ability and grow in our faith. According to the Holy Gospel, while our Lord was traveling in a canoe with the Apostles, a storm arose and they were in anxiety but the Lord was sleeping. In fear, they woke him up and said, “save us, because we are about to perish,” but when the Lord arose and rebuked the storm, it stopped. “The apostles were surprised and said thus, “And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Luke 8:22-25). In this story we see that God allowed the storm to rise and remained silent, until the canoe capsized, which made the apostles faith in him increase. It means that they have come to understand the sea and winds also obeys Him.
It might seem to us that God is slow or silent, of our calling during hardships, but he will not be silent until we perish. He will be silent until we are thrown into the fire, but as soon as we are thrown in to the fire, He arrives before the fire and sends His angle to save us. He may be silent until we are through to be crushed by the wheel, but He sends His angle to save us before even one of cog of the wheel touch us with blink of an eye.
This is what we notice in the history of the holy martyrs. God remained silent until the three children were thrown in to the fire. He was silent when the king ordered them to fight, and He was silent when they tied their hands and feet and led them to the oven. But when they threw them in to the fire, before the fire began to pierce them, He sent His Angle to protect them. So that not a single hair of theirs would burn. In this work, God’s power was revealed. The king believed in God saving power and went so far as to revoke his decree. So let’s believe that God can save us at the last moment even though we think He is silent.
But, what if He doesn’t save us? Is the purpose of Christianity to be saved from evil? The purpose of Christianity is not to be saved from suffering, but to understand the reality (ability) of God to save us as the last hour. When the martyrs were thrown in to the fire and in to the wheel, they sought suffering but not solution. Why would they come to the martyrdom square in the first place if they had not wanted the suffering? For those who see that miracle and become Christians, God will save them from the five and other sufferings, but their will is to pass through suffering in the name of Christ.
We notice this in this three children’s Life. Their saying, “He can save us from the fire” is the word that revealed God’s saving ability. We understand their saying that, they want martyrdom, “We will not worship an idol even if He does not save us.” (Daniel 3:18) They mean that if God wanted them to receive martyrdom, we will be burn but would not bow down to an image made by the king’s hands.
When God allows His power to be revealed through miracles, He remains silent, until it is know to be “enough.” After everything is said to be finished, and when something is said to be cut off, is found to continue. This is beyond the mind and it compels the conscience to believe. This is where the credibility of the miracle is confirmed. And miracles are done for the benefit of those who came to perform that miracle instead of the person to whom the miracle was performed. If this is the case, our focus should not be on saved from physical death. When we ask ‘why’ we should not be worried to die in the body, but in the soul eternally.
When there is always suffering in the church, there is a good opportunity that come with it, which is martyrdom. When the types of suffering differs, the type of martyrdom also varies. If the suffering is physical violence and the Church receives martyrs by blood. If heresies rise to twinge the Theology, the Church will receive Patristics Fathers. During the heresies ness of Arius, Saint Athanasius, Nuestro’s betrayal Saint Cyril, Leon’s betrayal Saint Mercurius has risen. In general, due to the rise of heresies, we have the opportunity of examining the Holy Bible more. When the Alawites arose, the Church have found thousands of Martyrs.
Another thing we need to remember is that the Church may be being cleansing during this tribulation. If a part of our body is sick, and if it is to poison the other parts of the body, it causes for the parts we love to be cut. Though we will be sad to lose our body part, it endangers in poisoning the rest and the danger is worse. During its suffering, if a Church leader is poisoned, are separate from laities, or they apart for they are heresies or they are destroyed by plagues.
We must be careful not to confuse martyrdom with this. Those who pass as martyrs are asked to betray the divinity of Christ, but have refused or stand for the Church. Generally, those who were killed and be killed with the mission of persisting for religion, are truly martyrs! Their suffering is their reward, and their death is rest.
Therefore, we shall not have the idea of those who did not pass through martyrdom and died for other reasons were simply cutoff; none of us know about any of us. We can only think that there may be a part that God will separate from the Church during the tribulation for the reason we have explained above. Beyond that, we cannot say anything about anyone. Even if we wanted to, our we do not have the ability in doing so.
Finally, what we should think about is that God is Giving us the opportunity to do what is expected from us (is preparing a field of service for us). He can do what He likes without any one’s help. He can also solve the problem of the Church. However, because of the abundance of His love, He allows us to participate in His work, and to work through us. To know this, we don’t have to wait for Him to tell us that “There is something I want from you.” Because it stated in the Holy Bible that is His will to involve people in His work.
The story described in the book of Esther shows us this will of God. When death is announced on her people, she fasted and prayed and told to God and awaited. She did not say, “What is expected from me is to pray and remind God of the problem.” Instead, she believed that God would work through her and she went and talked to the king without him summoning her. Because God was with her, she found favor with him and changed the death letter of Israelites. (Read the entire book of Esther.)
Since there is suffering, we shall know what we should each do. Perhaps we start by repentance, take part in Holy Communion and in becoming one in Christ. We shall think about what is expected of us and must work.
It is better to take this time as good circumstance rather than thinking it as bad generation. Mainly, we have two good opportunities. The first one is loved and honored which is being a martyr. Do we think it is to be chosen? So then, let us prepare ourselves realizing it is to be chosen living in this time surrounded by tribulations and sufferings. If we truly plead God craving it from our heart, He will give us the opportunity even if we do not deserve it.
As the punishment of sinners falls upon the righteous, the blessing for the righteous befalls for sinners as well. We might receive the martyrdom which befalls for those who deserve it, if we seek it from the bottom of our heart. The blood of the martyrs is shed merely. Their lenience strengthens the weak as we have read it in the story of martyrs.
God have the power in preserving us and take us to the good era, for He knows we fear the suffering and lack the ability to participate in the good opportunity. After we do what is expected from us, repent and take part in the Holy Communion, and leave it to God saying, “let it be your will!” for He knows what we can and is good for us. If we are not living without the two of path, what might be our destiny?
May God’s mercy and the intercession of Holy Mother Virgin Saint Mary be with us, Amen!