In one of Joe Morgenstern’s weekly Wall Street Journal columns about movies, he considered the impact of the great film stars in close-up scenes where they said nothing at all. “Movie stars,” he wrote, “can do as little as they do at crucial moments because, having already earned our respect, they can assume that we’re paying attention.” This quality of powerful silence that we admire in actors and actresses, however, can be frustrating or disappointing in our relationship with God when He is silent.

When Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, became seriously ill, his sisters Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus. But “when [Jesus] heard that [Lazarus] was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was” (John 11:6).

Commenting on this passage, Oswald Chambers said: “Has God trusted you with a silence—a silence that is big with meaning? . . . Think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything analogous to those days in your life? . . . His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into a marvellous understanding of Himself. . . . If God has given you a silence, praise Him, He is bringing you into the great run of His purposes.” We can trust our loving Lord, even when He is silent.