Monday, April 20, 2015

Silence is Golden ... Unless ...

Okay, if you are a parent, raise your right hand. Right now. Take your fingers off the keyboard. Raise your hand. Okay, good job. Now you all have just agreed that this picture speaks a thousand words. Having raised 2 stepdaughters and a son, there was usually quite a ruckus coming from some room in the house, unless it was bedtime, and even then all wasn't always quiet. There were the usual "no, that's mine, you can't have it, give it back, I'm gonna tell" coming from amongst the gathered throngs.
But let it get quiet, and you start to wonder what could be happening. For a moment you contemplate whether or not a coup is in progress as your eyes silently scan the room for any oncoming warriors. And then when your curiosity gets the better of you, your body follows your feet which were told by your mind to go investigate.
In a stealthy manner you creep up to the room where you last knew of their location, listening for any clues as to the manner of action that may be called for. Nothing is audible so far as you approach the door where the activity is happening. Then WHAM! All of them jump up, usually in some form of makeshift costume, and run to attack you as you retreat to escape the marauding revelers. Finger gun fights erupts as the bedlam comes to full force and then hugs and giggles finish up the escapade that just took place.
Come to find out they wanted to have this happen, it was planned, knowing that if they were quiet enough, it would draw you into their lair and the fun would start. Kids can have great imaginations and many times they can get the desired result that they want just by acting upon knowledge of how they have seen you react in situations before.
For adults, life is like that, especially where God is concerned. Activity around us goes on in the usual way, with the normal activities and sounds that we are accustomed to. We go about our business, following God's lead and continuing to have His desires for us in our heart. And then, one day, all is quiet. Nothing. The music stops, the jester has ended his monologue and the crowd just stands there in anticipation of what is to come next. For most of us, until that happens, we keep our everyday "noise" as a background issue, failing to pay attention to the details of our surroundings. God knows how humans react and He knows what it takes to get our attention. Sometimes, instead of trying to yell over the buzz of our everyday lives, He resorts to something else that is sure to get noticed.

Psalm 62:5

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.


Psalm 62:1 ESV

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 

Sometimes God has to be quiet to be heard. Our daily lives are so busy with family, school, housework, children, and jobs that we become "tuned out" to anything around us that is being said. You've seen people who you have to shout their name several times to get them to realize that you were talking to them. Or maybe you were on the receiving end of one of those shouts. The same thing happens with God. Our lives get full and there is so much "white noise" in our lives that nothing important gets through. Sure, we go to church, but even then many of us do not actually listen. Our thoughts are caught up in the upcoming weeks anticipated activities, and it is almost like coming out of a fog when you realize that the closing hymn/music has already started.
For many people who earnestly seek God's wisdom and guidance, there can be a deafening silence that springs forth for quite a while.We pray, ask for guidance about a situation, then we wait on a sign or an answer in a form that could only be from God. But nothing. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS. Deafening silence. Frustration. Stomping of Feet. Arms slinging in the air. Eyes/Head pointed skyward as if the answer could be seen up above.
Sometimes the answer will come within days. For many others, sometimes the answer will come in months, even years if at all. For those who never seem to get their answer, I wonder if maybe the answer was given, but missed. Or maybe the question that was asked was not the right one to be seeking the answer to.
Either way, the hardest thing to do is to wait. I have a hard time with patience. Years ago I heard a pastor's wife tell someone to never pray for patience, God may teach it to you. I think they may have been on to something. Patience is the hardest period of time to remain stalwart towards God.
But one more part of this that may be even harder is knowing what to do while waiting. When I was growing up I always heard that "idle hands are the devil's workshop." So staying focused and remaining vigilant can be really hard for many people, myself included. I have begged, pleaded, and listened for answers, only to be distracted or mislead down a wrong road following a false lead.
For myself, the problem comes with constant dead ends. Many times things keep seeming to be very promising, but then it is as if God SLAMS the door shut with no explanation. My exercise in patience is becoming rather lengthy it seems. I feel like I've hit the brick wall, and now there is nothing to do but lie in wait. Just like the children in the story at the beginning of this blog, I will get quiet, and wait, listening for the footsteps, maybe a creaky stair, that will signal the coming of the Lord. At that time, when I see His glory and know that my time has finally come, I will jump up and begin my journey, knowing that in the end, I will rest in His arms for all of eternity. This seems the most prudent of options for me, and the one that hopefully will bring about the desired results.
There was a short song that we used to sing in church.
"They that wait, upon the Lord. Shall renew their strength. They shall mount up, with wingsssss like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord, Teach me Lord, to wait." (based on a verse in Isaiah).
My strength is getting better and I find myself wanting to mount up with wings so that I can go where God can use me and I can be an active servant in His house. I want my steps to be quicker, lighter until I break out into a 4 minute mile.
Until then, I will wait Lord, I will wait.

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