My busy superheroes have finally fallen asleep for their afternoon naps and my husband is studying for this week’s sermon. Besides the monotonous drone of traffic outside, our house is completely silent. It most likely won't last long, but I'm savoring every moment.
It's strange to enjoy silence this much. I tend to be a little bit of a chatterbox. I love people, and I find myself energized after a great conversation. Most of the time, I have the radio or my favorite CD playing as I drive. I can walk for miles if someone is with me to help pass the time!
Lately, though, I've been craving quiet. It's not because of a migraine or frazzled nerves. It's not because I'm struggling with depression or deep burdens. Instead, my soul desires the quiet rest that leads to more of God.
Our world is so loud! Every day our hearts and minds are bombarded with a million different voices. We are told that we need more and more to be happy, content, and fulfilled. Even good voices shout that we're not spending enough time in educational activities with our kids. We're not writing consistently enough on our social media sites to build a solid following. We really should be switching all of our food and cleaning supplies to more natural items. We need to buy this or get rid of that.
We hear this noise on top of the already busy lives we lead as spouses and parents. We fall into bed exhausted hoping we wake up with enough energy to make it through just one more of these crazy days.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
In our roaring society, these verses almost sound foreign, but definitely appealing. I'm slowly learning that this kind of quiet rest doesn't just happen. It's an intentional choice.
We have to consciously turn down the volume in our homes and lives to hear the silence and savor the stillness that we read of in these passages.
It could be that we need to actually turn off the television, close our laptops, or adjust the notification settings on our phones. It could also mean that we are deliberate in the activities we say "yes" to for our families and ourselves. When we fail (which will happen often), it means taking time to refocus our hearts on the sufficiency of the gospel and Christ's sacrifice for us instead of rehearsing our inadequacies over and over.
Most of us wouldn't let our young kids decide their own bedtime. Their little bodies and brains need rest, and we as their loving parents enforce their sleep time for their own good. In the same way, we have to learn to be quiet for the good of our soul. We must develop the discipline of "waiting in silence" and "being still" to hear the gentle voice of the Spirit in our lives.
Life's distracting and relentless sounds become idols when they prevent us from truly hearing the beautiful and transforming truth of the gospel.
The pressure of consistent activity becomes a nagging voice in our lives that keeps us from cherishing the voice of the One whose approval truly matters. Choosing to pause the noise and busyness allows us to dive deeper into the knowledge of His grace with a quiet and open heart.