One of my recent goals has been to spend more time being silent.
Step one is shutting my own “I’m-talking-and-I-can’t-seem-to-stop” mouth. Next I get away from people. Going to a quiet beach or trail in the woods for a long walk works for me–away from all the electronics which add so much noise to my life.
But even after doing that, I still find it hard to deal with clamor going on in my mind and my emotions.
Trying to silence the ruckus of my plans and my desires turns out to be not as simple as just going to a quiet place.
And even though I try to spend time with God daily in my “Quiet Time,” I long to have a sense of quiet–of stillness– enter my inner world more often and at a deeper level.
Recently I ran across a verse in the Amplified Bible which speaks of silence. I’ve been reading it again and again since.
To You belongs silence (the submissive wonder of reverence which bursts forth in praise)…Psalm 65:1
Within that verse is a way to measure whether or not I’m truly reaching my goal. The evidence of arriving at the place called silence is: I will burst forth in praise. This is not the slow, mechanical “What can I think of praising God for today?” Instead it centers on an overwhelming sense of God’s goodness which then explodes into spontaneous praise–even when things in life seem bad.
Once I silence my complaints, my demands, my pouting, I can see and marvel at His agenda, His desires, His will for me. I’m no longer consumed with what God will give me. Instead I’m wondering what I can give to Him. Communing replaces complaining.
In this place of silence, instead of staying disappointed that my plan’s not working out, I embrace “His appointment”–His different-than-mine plan for my life.
True silence brings me to the point where my problems no longer seem huge, but just stepping stones to draw me closer to Him and to living out His mission for my life.
Once I’m silent on the inside as well as on the outside, I can truly worship Him. And as my Sunday School teacher reminded us lately, “That’s what we were made for–to worship Him.”
Not only can I worship Him–proclaiming His worth through heartfelt praise– but I can hear His still small voice in the silence. Some days I feel this is one of the reasons I avoid silence. A part of me fears what He will say–what He will require of me.
I have a considerable way to go to regularly arrive at this kind of silence before the Lord. The most I seem able to attain are occasional moments at a time. But I yearn for extended periods of silence as a way of life. It seems this is how Jesus lived when He was on the earth.
I want to experience more and more –“the submissive wonder of reverence which bursts forth in praise.” After all I try to do for God in my own efforts, I see now this is a gift He cherishes from me. And the beauty is that He helps to silent my soul–like a papa with His fretting child. Oh, that I would become more childlike.
What about you? Do you have a hard time silencing your mind and emotions before the Lord? Today embrace the challenge of asking Him to help You be truly silent before Him.