Silence is a highly unusual thing, and I think most of us struggle with silence more than we dare to admit. Do you doubt me? If so, I dare you to try it out. I bet it’s harder than you think.
Try it tonight from the time the bell rings to get out of school till bedtime. Don’t watch any TV, turn off your phone (GASP!), stay off the computer and kill your .mp3 player. Tune out any & all noise – especially music. Don’t even listen to it in the car.
“But what would I find if I did that?” you might ask. Good question. I have found that after some “detox” time from noise I began to not miss it anymore. I have also found that when I’m faced with silence – nothing but God and myself – I sometimes become uncomfortable. Why? Because in that type of silence I cannot “noise-out” what God is actually trying to show and tell me. And the things He has to show and tell me are not always things I’m comfortable with seeing and hearing. Truth hurts! Scripture tells us that the Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword and that it separates joints from marrow (Hebrews 4:12). That sounds like it could hurt!
In preparing for writing this I thought I had better challenge myself to spend more time in silence. So since I live alone, and don’t own a TV, all I really could turn off was my music. So I did – reluctantly. Why so reluctant? Because I actually didn’t want to hear what I feared God would tell me – that I was seeking love outside of Him. What I feared did in fact come true and He let me know that He is not okay with that.
It may sound like a silly little example, but tbh: We all seek something outside of God which should only be sought in Him. Maybe it’s comfort, a sense of security, an escape from reality/pain/hurts/emptiness, a deep longing to be loved.
The truth is it could be more than one of these, or something completely different. But at the end of the day I think most of us are afraid of what we might find if we stop for a moment and just ask God for His opinion and then give Him some room and time to answer. Chances are that you–like me–already have a really good idea about what He is going to say or point out. Nevertheless, I encourage you to follow through on this discipline. Schedule in some time weekly just for God and you and guard that time.
And remember this: You are not fully loved until you are fully known. He fully knows you! Do you want to know how much He loves you? Then give Him that room to tell the truth about you. And when He does, make it a real commitment to follow through on His guidance, and to follow it promptly. If you do, you’ll find you’ll be totally satisfied (see Matthew 5:6). So, silence isn’t deadly but it’s actually satisfying to the soul!
Here’s some questions I want to leave you with to wrestle through and comment on.
- How do I react to silence & why?
- Am I willing to try to carve out some times of silence regularly? Why or why not?
- Can I commit to at least try an extended silent time?
- If you’ve spent some time in silence talking AND LISTENING to God, what did he say?
Father, we want more of you and less of us, and we are so thankful that in spite of all the bad things you see us that you resolutely love us! And we give you thanks for caring for us.
We give you thanks that you care enough to tell us even the things we fear to hear. The things that are hard to come to terms with. But our greatest desire is to do what you require, so please awake in us an unquenchable hunger and thirst for the Truth, the Way and the Life! Help us face reality. Please reveal to us what we truly need to hear. Not just what we want to hear.
In everything we give you thanks! And we pray all this in Your Son’s name, Jesus Christ, the King over all kings, and the Lord over all lords.
:: by Morten Anderson