For just a moment, try to put yourself in the place of Ernest McSorley. The date is November 10, 1975. You are the captain of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Your ship is awash in 35-foot seas and buffeted by wind gusts of 100 knots. The topside fence rails have snapped, the vents were torn off and your radar is out. In this dire predicament you place your final radio message, “We’re holding our own, going along like an old shoe.” Then nothing but radio silence. Soon your ship and crew were lost forever. What disaster awaits us when we go radio silent with God? Please read more…
Compare this tragic outcome to the tense moments in July of 1969 between Mission Control and Apollo 11. For the mission to be successful, the crew needed a 6-minute, 2-second burn to slow their speed from 5,000 to 3,000 miles per hour to allow lunar gravity to secure them into the proper orbit. The challenge was this had to occur on the far side of the moon outside of radio contact. Everyone on earth held their breath, unable to know what was happening. Happily, this cliff-hanging suspense was broken when radio contact was reestablished, and a successful lunar landing soon followed.
Sadly, radio silence is more likely to result in tragedy than a happy outcome. On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart’s plane disappeared over the South Pacific. According to Richard Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, Earhart was marooned in knee-deep water on a reef on Gardner Island.
One housewife scanning her radio in Texas picked up on Earhart’s distress transmission. She heard, “Plane down on an uncharted island. Small, uninhabited.” According to Gillespie, five days after the crash, a woman in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, heard this on her radio, “Can you read me? Can you read me? This is Amelia Earhart … Please come in. We have taken in water; my navigator is badly hurt … we are in need of medical care and must have help. We can’t hold on much longer.” After that, it went radio silent. Amelia was never heard from again. Researchers now believe they have discovered her bones on that island.
Knowing that radio silence usually ends poorly, why do so many Christians choose to go “radio silent” and stop praying and talking to God? The reasons for avoiding God are varied. Sometimes we may believe that God has let us down. Maybe we believe the Church has let us down, or possibly still we believe that we have let ourselves down. Perhaps we believe that we have sinned so much that God doesn’t want to hear from us anymore. At other times, it may be hopelessness or despair caused by our perception that God has not answered our prayers that causes us to stop talking to God.
Let’s face it, sometimes we go radio silent on God because we have become too attached to our sins and we don’t want to give them up. If we were honest in our conversation with God, we might be inclined to say, “Lord I love you, but I love my sins too, how can I have both?”
God desires our honesty. He can handle the truth. Tell Him what is on your mind. Let Him know how you feel. Tell Him if you are sad or disappointed or even mad at Him. Just don’t stop talking to Him.
Not only do we go silent with God, but Christians sometimes pull away and go radio silent with their friends, family, and other members of their church. We often fret and worry that others will reject us if they discover our inner truth. We work hard to conceal our flaws and real identity. When we are radio silent with others, we prevent them from being Christ to us. We keep them from helping us. Trying to hide our real self from others can become exhausting.
In Jeremiah 23:24 God says, “Can anyone hide in secret without my seeing them?” He goes on to say, “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” In Hebrews 4:13 we read this, “No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.”
We have all seen a child, standing in plain sight, while saying, “I am hiding.” They simply close their eyes and assume no one can see them. Of course we all laugh at this. God probably laughs when we hide and go silent too. Hiding from God did not work for Adam and Eve and it won’t work for us.
Death followed the radio silence of both the Edmund Fitzgerald and Amelia Earhart. If we remain silent with God and others, we are putting our souls in peril. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” Those of us who were glued to our televisions and radios during the Apollo 11 mission gave a sigh of relief when radio contact was reestablished when the astronauts returned from the “dark side” of the moon. God is waiting for us to return for our dark self-imposed and silent isolation. Make it a point to talk with Him today!
Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that you long to hear from me every day. Help me never to run and hide from you. Give me the courage to share openly with you and those who care for me the thoughts and concerns that are on my mind. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!
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