Silence is Golden
There’s the old saying that silence is golden. Those with young children also know that silence is even more elusive. Our lives are noisy. There are distractions everywhere and no matter how hard you try, it seems as if things don’t quiet down. I would love that. I crave quiet, but when I have it I miss the noise. Crazy, isn’t it?
I love Elijah’s experience on Mount Horeb in 1 Kings 19. It’s an incredibly moving passage filled with intense imagery that floods the senses. In this passage Elijah is immersed in raw emotions. After defeating the worshippers of Baal in 1 Kings 18, the queen sends a death to Elijah. Elijah flees for his life wondering where God is and what he is doing. Aren’t those questions we wrestle with sometimes? How many times have we prayed, “Lord I just don’t understand what you’re doing” or “Why is everything and everyone going against me? I feel so alone.
Eventually Elijah gets to Mount Horeb (Elijah’s journey there is interesting to say the least!) He gets to a cave and spends the night there. Then Elijah hears the voice of the Lord. The Lord tells him to go out to and stand on the mountain because the Lord is about to pass by. Then all of a sudden there was a great wind that was powerful, but the Lord wasn’t in the wind. Then there was a powerful earthquake, but the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. Then a fire. Then it happens. A sound of sheer silence. Some translations say, “a still small voice” like a whisper and the Lord was there.
Life is like the wind, earthquake, and fire. It’s loud, it’s crazy, it’s filled with the unexpected. But the Lord was in the silence. It was in the silence where Elijah heard God’s new command and directions for his life. It is in the silence where Elijah’s spirit and faith is revived.
The reason so many people crave silence is because we are too busy focused on all the chaos of life. Life doesn’t have to be as busy or as loud as we make it. We can (and should) exercise silence just as much as we do going to the gym so we can quiet are hearts and our minds to hear the voice of the Lord. So that our spirit would be revived by his presence.
What are some ways in which you can practice silence amidst the chaos of life?