Monday, January 23, 2012

Silence speaks volumes


Let praise cascade off my lips; after all, you've taught me the truth about life! 
   And let your promises ring from my tongue; every order you've given is right.  Put your hand out and steady me since I've chosen to live by your counsel. 
(Psalm 119:171-173 The Message)

Have you heard the term, "Talk is cheap"?  It means it is easier to talk ABOUT something than to do it!  Another meaning would be it is easier to talk ABOUT someone than to do something for them.  We could say talk is "cheap" in many respects - - if our words aren't a sincere revelation of our motives (inner heart), they are simply have no real "force" behind them.

I have friends who speak continuously when we are together.  Other simply are happy to sit and enjoy times of quiet with me, occasionally bringing some discussion into the quiet, but it is not the main "theme" of our time together.  I was once told we could "gauge" the "comfort" of an individual in our relationship by their need to continually make "small talk" in our time together.  As my relationships have matured, the need to always be engaged in conversation has decreased.  So, I think this observation may be true.

How do you find your time with the Lord?  Is it a continual conversation, barely pausing for a breath?  Is there a sense of "filling" space with conversation?  If so, you might find you are a little concerned about the "silence"!  Why?  It may be the silence frightens you because you have never learned the value of just spending "time" with each other.  Whenever I have paused my talking TO God long enough, I begin to "take in" things around me purposefully revealed by his hand.  

For example, when sitting quietly on a recent trip, enjoying the mild weather and gentle breezes of Virginia, I began to just "take in" what was around me.  In just a short time, I began to look at the "floor" of the small creek bed and forest just behind the timeshare.  The fallen branches created little havens for the creatures scurrying around.  Squirrels perches atop them, birds pecked underneath them, and if I had looked a little further, I bet I would have found that insects mad a home there, too.

In short order, God began to show me the purpose God has for the "broken".  The trees were filled with turning leaves, gently whispering the ebbs and flow of the breezes.  The floor of the forest was lined with colorful fallen leaves, broken branches, and fallen acorns.  In terms of looking at the trees or the forest floor, one might quickly say the trees still served a purpose - - they were full of the evidence of life!  Yet, when we really consider the floor, guess what we see?  You got it!  Life!

Even in what appeared to have been 'discarded' by the trees (those fallen leaves, the broken branches, and the drying acorns), there was an immense purpose!  The leaves provide protection to the roots during the coming winter chill.  The fallen branches acted as resting spots for the creatures scurrying about.  The drying acorns would be laid up for the leaner times little forest critters would face later in the year.  Each held a purpose far greater than evident by just a cursory glance.

The same is true of each of us - - we serve a purpose not always evident on the surface.  In the quiet of discovery, our purpose becomes apparent.  What impressed me most in my time of listening to God, being open to his teaching, was the truth that in death God produces the basis for life!  It was in death his Son provided the basis for eternal life with God.  It is in death our hope begins!  

Praise cascades from the lips of one who realizes this truth to be true in their lives!  In the quietness of praise, the truths of God become true in our lives.  Did you ever think there was a purpose in "quiet" praise?  Yep!  Not every moment with God needs to be filled with words!  Sometimes the greatest message is in the quiet we enjoy together!  So, speak on God!  We are quiet now.  

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