Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Waiting in Silence

The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas soon will be upon us. The plans and preparations for the holidays are good and necessary, but we all need to remember to breathe. We need to remember to slow down and pray. In all the noise and busy-ness we need some silence. We need to wait on God.

Scripture says:
·       Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10 NIV)

·       “They who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31 ESV)

·       “My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” (Ps. 62:5-6 NASB)

When we wait in silence we sense the presence of God. Our culture avoids silence. Noise saturates our daily lives and over stimulates us. Noise and busyness dominate our days. Most of us carry many responsibilities that keep us busy or even stressed. Television, cell phones, radio, and computers also consume time and distract our minds. We need silence to slow down and breathe.

But do we avoid silence? Is silence uncomfortable? We need silence to release our cares and concerns to God and focus on Him. We must be still. Silence brings us in touch with inner longings and needs. Silence touches our deepest feelings and brings to mind our flaws. We would rather run away from these. Silence confronts us with our sins.

Without silence our connection with our Holy God can be jammed – like a radio broadcast with interference.
We need silence to face our troubled emotions and our sins. In the silence we sense His presence. Scripture says our strength is renewed. We’re no longer weary. We’re no longer shaken. And we know God. What amazing thoughts!

Friends, to deepen our relationship with Christ let’s spend ten minutes or more in silence every day. Even the busiest person can find ten minutes. Take time for this period of silence and stillness. The longer we do this the more meaningful this time will become.

We might also try a little silence at the beginning of our worship. We need at least brief silence during worship to face our sins and wait for the presence of God. Matt Redman, well known worship leader and author, says:

“The God of glory who thunders over the mighty waters, reveals Himself intimately and quietly to the depths of our heart. When alone and when gathered as a worship community, we must learn to listen for Him­ - in the sound of sheer silence.”

The hymn below expresses beautifully our need for silence to let go of our cares and come into His presence.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways,
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives thy service find,
In deeper reverence praise.

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire,
Thy coolness and thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm.

Blessings, Dottie Parish

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