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What do you do when your life falls apart and it feels as if God is silent?

By Andrea Johnson

The woman’s body trembled beneath her heavy robe. She had cried so many tears she didn’t know how she had any left, but they came anyway. She forced herself to look up at her son, nailed to that hideous cross. Soldiers openly mocked Him. Others leered. Vultures, she thought.

Poor Jesus – beaten so badly she hadn’t even recognized Him when He came down the path stumbling beneath that horrible, wooden beam.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Hadn’t the angel promised her? Jesus would be the Messiah. He would save His people. Was it really going to end this way?

It seemed like just yesterday the angel Gabriel had come to Mary, announcing the incredible news of her pregnancy. Giving birth to the Messiah was every Jewish girl’s dream; however, Mary was already pledged to Joseph. Still she willingly submitted to God’s plan even though doing so put her at great risk. Would she lose Joseph? Would she be stoned?

Then there was the birth. The young woman had not expected to give birth to the Son of God in an ordinary manger far from home. But as she counted each little finger and toe and marveled at how perfect He was, none of that seemed to matter. When the shepherds and wise men came to worship the little guy she was left in awe. She had been chosen to raise God’s Son! As Baby Jesus snuggled against her breast, she was struck with the realization of how vulnerable He was.

Life had seemed so normal after that, until Jesus turned 30 and Mary’s life was turned upside down. Her son spent most of His time with His disciples, a particularly needy bunch, it seemed. And as He began His teaching ministry, crowds started to gather. When people caught sight of His miracles and the healings, they flocked to Him in droves.

Where were all those people now? Where were they when Jesus needed them? Jesus’ closest friend, John, and a few others knelt and wept with her, but where were the throngs?

Had she done something wrong? Had she somehow missed God’s plan? Had Jesus? He had saved so many others. Couldn’t He save Himself? Where was God? Why didn’t He rescue His Son? Why?

After Jesus’ death, John led Mary to his home. Her friends tried to comfort her, but the only One who could answer her questions or soothe her tormented spirit seemed strangely quiet. She knew only that the dream God Himself had given to her was dead. She had seen it buried.

Maybe you too were certain that God had given you a dream. You spent your life trying to make that dream come true, but now it seems impossible.

The Jensen family’s dreams were shattered with the announcement of Mike’s inoperable brain tumor (see page 6). For Jessica Welch it was a stroke at age 31 (page 18). For Leon Henifin it was the loss of his entire family when he was only a baby (page 20).

What do you do when your life falls apart and it feels as if God is silent? First, like Mary, you weep. That’s ok. Next, like Mary, you allow your close friends to minister to you. Then you hold on to hope, you persevere, trusting in a God you don’t understand (and with whom you may not agree). He is known for bringing peace out of chaos. He did it at creation; He did it at the cross. He will do it for you.

About The Author

Andrea Johnson
Managing Editor

In her spare time you will most likely find Andrea Johnson with family or friends, or outdoors hiking. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with four children and five grandchildren.