The Wonder of Silence


This devotional first appeared in the July, August, September 2013 issue of Words of Hope.  It is reprinted  with permission. (You can find others in the category Living in Wonder Moments  on the right hand side of the Home page.)

Read:  Psalm 37: 1-7

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. (v. 7)

Stillness is a rare commodity. Blaring media, workspace cubicles, and team-processing contribute to the activity and noise around us.  Fear over missing something causes us to actually miss the wonder of silence.

Scripture teaches us that silence allows us to hear God speak.  Elijah heard God’s wisdom in the still small voice. Psalm 37 advises silent waiting when we are anxious and fretful. Jesus often removed himself from the fray, perhaps so that he could regain perspective, and certain so that he could reconnect with his Father.

I learned the wonder of silence on the second day of a three-day silent retreat.  I was alone on the grounds of Camp Geneva and Retreat Center in Holland, Michigan.  A frigid December wind roared across Lake Michigan, but I decided to take a walk anyway.  As I navigated the icy paths, I remembered that during my childhood this place had wrapped me in safety. For a few days every summer my fear and insecurity vanished.

I walked to the bluff overlooking the lake.  The wind whipped up the waves, and ominous billowing clouds mirrored my memories.  And then I heard God’s words deep in my soul:  “You are my child.  I will always take care of you.”   Suddenly the clouds parted.  Bright sunshine seemed to spotlight me.  Frosted trees and ice-crusted snow shimmered.  God and I were together in the silence.  The clouds returned, as did reality.  But it was a new reality created by silence.- Karen Bables

Prayer:  Help me to carve out time for silence so I can hear you speak.

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