BY MARTHA CHEVALIER
“When the lamb opened the scroll there was silence in heaven for about a half an hour.”
Revelation 8:1 ESV
Let us rediscover the humble, albeit ancient practice of silence keeping. Just as the blood of the lamb washes us from all our sins, so waiting quietly in utter, rapt silence before the Lord levels the playing field of our soul.
Jesus said to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and anxious over many things, Mary has chosen the better.” And just what was it that Mary so beautifully chose? Mary waited upon the Lord, at his feet, clothed in silence, except perhaps for the sound of soft tears, pouring out oil on her master’s feet. What a beautiful picture of quiet prayer.
Throughout scripture we catch glimpses of the unassuming might and power of quiet. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) “The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth be silent before him” (Habakkuk 2:20). Posturing ourselves to hear His whisper, we must choose to be deliberate in our efforts to quiet ourselves. As we do, sometimes he comes to us with a mild murmur and other times we are forged on his ferocious anvil.
More than any other time, this past year and half, many of our homes, (and lives) showcased anything but silence… children schooling from home, remote workdays spent toiling in the kitchen, various corners of life jammed up with You Tube, Netflix, Amazon video, and Tik Tok blaring. I know it was true for me. In this past extended season, I avoided silence like the plague, no pun intended.
Why not consider a fresh approach to getting still? Maybe try a fast of words, fast of TV, social media or any other compulsion that seeks endless, mind-numbing entertainment? Instead, consider fostering opportunities which immerse ourselves in the secret place, where untold renovations of our soul take place. When we get quiet, we can squarely face the fierce avoidance monsters, the demons, the worries, the places where our own flesh-man battles rage. Silence purges us from the practices, attitudes and behaviors that demand our avoidance of core essentials. Substance surfaces.
….and David sat before the Lord. Consider your journey into the realm of solitude. If this is new to you, go ahead and try getting still for a few minutes each day. If you are an old hand, steady practitioner of stillness and comfortable sitting before the Lord, maybe instead of your morning practice add 20 minutes in the evening, just before bed. If all of Heaven stands silent in full accord for a half an hour, why not consider its merit. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you were speechless, wordless before His presence?
"Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28)
“Efforts are needed for any abstinence, but the most difficult one is to keep silent which is, in fact, the most important skill.”