When I was younger I liked the band Mike + The Mechanics. I probably liked them initially because I liked Genesis and Mike Rutherford was part of that legendary group but the music pulled me in.
Their first single was a very haunting, moderately lyrically confusing song called “Silent Running”. It took me the longest time to understand the meaning of the song (an astronaut from the future warning his family in the past about the upcoming collapse of society according to the band) but the chorus always hit me deeply. First, here’s the video to the song in case you’re not familiar with it:
The chorus of that song…”Can you hear me? Can you hear me running? Can you hear me running? Can you hear me calling you?” has always haunted me. I can think of many times in my life I would be screaming that in my head even when surrounded by people.
It’s the kind of thing that would run through my head on those nights when it’s 2 a.m., I can’t sleep and I know there’s no one I can call or go visit to talk about why I can’t sleep.
I felt like the astronaut from the past crying out in the hopes that someone out there would hear me.
And I would begin to think that perhaps I was crying out to no one. That God wasn’t even there. The question would turn from some earth-bound person hearing me to God hearing me.
Can you hear me, God?
Can you hear me running, God?
Can you hear me calling you, God?
When you feel like even He’s not paying attention, it can take a bad depression and make it much worse.
Of course, we know that God never leaves us, never forsakes us and is incapable of not hearing our prayers. Yes, the Bible says our prayers can be hindered (Tim Challies has a great post on it here) but God is incapable of not hearing us. He can see through our sin and see our hearts. He can guide us back to Him.
However, there are those times we’re going to feel like he’s far away.
And I’ve come to realize that it’s OK.
Even King David had to wait on the Lord.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1 ESV)
If King Davy had to do it, we shouldn’t think we won’t.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. The nights I fight with this it’s like a championship boxing match. I feel physically tired after fighting the mental Tyson of doubtful thoughts. But you can fight. And you can win.
And God is right there with you.