When we pray for God's presence, we think we are praying for a grandiose entrance, when what we actually get is a humble king riding in on a stolen donkey. What we get is the King of Kings born as a baby in a cattle stall.
There is nothing big or grandiose about our Savior's entrances. He has proven full well that he prefers to take the back road, the low road, the road less traveled. That's the road where all the low-lifes and screw-ups are. That's where the broken dwell, those on the fringes of society. That's where there are people hurting who need a Savior's lowly entrance. Because they are low to the ground, they can see with full vision the lowly coming of the King.
May we see with eyes like theirs. May we behold our King. In all our great and wondrous efforts, may we not miss him. His birth was first announced to shepherds, after all.
I don't think that there is ever a season in life in which God is not speaking. Indeed, there are times we feel that God is silent, and I do think God is a great listener. But it is in the times that God seems silent, that God is speaking a language we cannot yet hear, a language in which there are no words. And it is in those times that God feels most distant and most silent that God is in fact most at work.