Silence is not simply the absence of noise or the shutdown of communication with the outside world, but rather a process of coming to stillness. Silent solitude forges true speech. I’m not speaking of physical isolation; solitude here means being alone with the Alone, experiencing the transcendent Other, and growing in awareness of one’s identity as the beloved. -Brennan Manning
In this world full of tablets, smartphones, and high-tech gadgets that are meant to simplify our lives, I think we’ve lost the true art of silence and solitude; being able to be alone, allowing our minds to focus on one solitary thing or even nothing at all. I’ve experienced times of personal, quiet devotion where that tiny buzz of a missed message or phone call was enough to rattle me out of the intimacy of Christ. It’s a shame, really, that we no longer know how to be alone with God. He so desperately wants to be with us. Admittedly, there are days when I can’t even manage to shut the television off long enough to sit still in His presence. Perhaps a part of us fears it, because when we get alone with Him, He reveals truth to us…painful truth.
I’ve been going through this process with the help of a counselor of unraveling my misconceptions and hurts. There’s lots of pain involved in this path, but I’m confident that on the other side is freedom. Through the process, I’ve been forced to find times each week to be silent, to allow my mind one solitary focus, and then like magic, words pour out of my spirit like an avalanche. I’ve found that, due to my cluttered and chaotic mind, the best way for me to meet with God is through writing. I am writing a lot, many things I’ve never said to anyone. I’m unloading my cares on the God who loves and saves and heals and restores.
My hope and prayer for my team this week is that you would be able to, in your own way, find those precious moments of solitude with Jesus. It will change you from being critical to merciful, from mean-spirited to kind, from downtrodden to joyful. I truly believe that when we do this our worship will begin to look different…like people redeemed basking in the glory of our Creator, knowing His great love for each of us. Take some time to ponder that this week.
Isaiah 40:28-31 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. he gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.