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Shhh....do you hear that?

I have seen some majestic waterfalls, but I know there are even more out there to be discovered. One thing that really catches my attention with these huge cascades of water is their intense sound. The thundering of the water as it cascades, falling upon rocks below, echoing throughout the canyons in which they dwell - it just roars and almost deafens one who gets too close. 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. They may 'thunder and roll', but do they carry any really power behind them? The words that 'cascade' from our lips should be to build up - not tear down. They should be to lift exalted praise to the one who has all the power to uphold us!

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)

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 a 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 actually be true. You know what? My comfort with God has grown deeper over the years, allowing me to be quite comfortable just sitting in his presence, taking in his grace, and just not needing to say a thing. Yet, there are times when my lips must exalt him and my heart cry out. Both are perfectly right - both are perfectly natural! 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.

On a recent fishing trip, I just sat and enjoyed the sounds, sights, and simple beauty around me. When I sat there a while, I began to look at the "floor" of the creek bed and forest just beyond it. The fallen branches created little havens for the creatures - I knew they were there even when I did not see them. Birds pecked underneath them, and if I had looked a little further, I bet I would have found that insects made a home there, too. In short order, God began to show me the purpose God has for the "broken". The trees were filled with leaves, gently whispering the ebbs and flow of the breezes. The floor of the forest was lined with fallen leaves, broken branches, and fallen seed pods. 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 seed pods), there was an immense purpose! The leaves provided protection to the roots during the heat of summer. The fallen branches acted as resting spots for the creatures scurrying about. The drying pods would be laid up for the leaner times by little forest critters. 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. Just being quiet!

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