January 27, 2014
Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans. ~Psalm 37:7
Imagine for a moment what a day in the life of a housewife would be like in the early 20th century. No electronics, no gadgets to do your work for you, mail takes days, packages take weeks or months to arrive, no quick trips to the grocery, no phone to find out if dear hubby will be late from work. And during the day, while doing the chores, no sounds -- no tv blasting away, no mp3, no radio.
People back then must have been much more comfortable with silence. I imagine there was more time to ponder, to wonder, to consider. These days there is such a cacophonous assault of information -- visual, auditory all around us all the time. And access to one another is instantaneous with texts, emails, tweets, IMs, skypes, or the 'old school' telephone call. Sometimes it seems impossible to just 'be still' or 'be silent'.
And yet, monks, nuns, yogis, and others have know for millennia that the way to inner peace and communion with God is through regular, silent moments. Call it prayer, call it meditation, call it discipline -- achieving real silence for some scheduled time each day allows us to connect with the universe and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
My 20 year old asks if I have ever heard God. He asks how he can know God and God's will if He never speaks. But this boy is never far from a computer screen. His smart phone is never off. He is rarely without headphones or earbuds. Well, I HAVE heard God. Mostly in quiet times I have gotten a sudden impulse or idea. Sometimes while reading a Bible Verse I am convicted that the message is for me. But yes, on one very special occasion I heard God audibly in my head. I was alone, silent and had been seeking the Holy Spirit desperately. It was one of those 'crying out' moments, and God answered. He didn't say much, didn't have to, but like Paul on the Damascus Road, it changed the course of my life forever.
I wonder how many of these moments people miss in our modern world of noise and messaging, pundits and talking heads telling us what to believe and what is real and true. God is not a 'spin doctor'. He tells it like it is. He laid His truth down in the Bible and dares us to believe it or dismiss it. Of course He longs to whisper in our ear, to draw us to Him like a parent does a child. But he leaves it to us to believe or not, to love or not, to obey or not.
My prayer for you is that you would intentionally make time to listen for God. If you draw near to Him, He WILL draw near to you. (James 4:8)
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