Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hearing in the Silence

Yesterday as you know was the start of a big clean, spruce up, declutter around my place. First thing I did was to tackle the playroom. I have big painting plans for this room and it needed a good washdown with TSP before paint ever touched those walls. Well, let me tell you, I am changing my most unfavorite chore from my ABC meme which I had listed as dusting, to washing walls. Not fun. But boy did it already look fresher just from the wash. Then onto the next step of cutting in the paint. Also not a favorite thing to do. In the midst of it, my son came down and said why didn't I turn on some music while I worked. I thought for one second and thanked him but said no. I was so enjoying the silence while I worked.

What on earth did I think about during the 3 hours this chore was taking me? Well, I prayed. And I sang some worship choruses. And I thought a lot about the scripture about running the race that I used yesterday. And I actually got my mind and heart still so I could actually "hear" those small impressions that were laid upon my heart as I prayed about certain things.

In this day and age, we seem to be surrounded by so much noise. Radios, CD's, tv's. We've so become conditioned to always hearing something in the background. It's almost like we're afraid of being in silence.

But it is in silence that God can speak to us. "Speak to us"? "That's nut's. God dosen't speak!" Oh but He does. He speaks in that still, small voice inside of our hearts. That small impression or that thought to call a certain someone or send a card to encourage someone, or to say something to someone, or to give money to someone you know in need or maybe a thought that they need an afternoon break from the kids. Or maybe He is just saying "I love you". But we're too busy running around or if we are actually doing something on our own that doesn't require a lot of mental exercise, we've got the background noise going.

Most often, because of our human nature, we look for God to "speak" in big ways. The miracle, the undeniable circumstances, the doors opened wide, or the doors shut tight. But in I Kings 19 Elijah experienced the still small voice. He had just come away from a big, booming, undeniable miracle. (I Kings 18). The Lord God had defeated the prophets of Baal by consuming the burnt sacrifices, the altars and the huge trench of water placed around the altar. When the people saw it they cried, "The Lord He is God". This was major stuff! The prophets of Baal were then killed according to law. Now Elijah was on the run because Jezebell was pretty peeved about the whole thing. He was hiding in a cave pouting to God about being the only one left and how they were looking to kill him. The Lord then told him to (I Kings 19:11) "Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord." And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;
(verse 12) And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.
It was here that God spoke to Elijah and gave him instructions on what to do next. When it came to something personal for Elijah it was not in big loud wind, earthquake or fire that God spoke but in a still, small voice.

In Job 37:14 it was said to Job: "Hear this, O Job; stand still and consider the wonderous works of God." Psalm 46:10 says to "Be still and know that I am God". I encourage you to on a regular basis to shut down the background noise and just listen for God. You don't have to be sitting or kneeling on the floor with your hands folded. You can be doing dishes, folding laundry or painting walls. But practise the silence and still your heart and mind and let His Spirit minister to you and yes, "Speak" to you.

"IT IS ONLY IN OUR SILENCE THAT WE
LEARN TO HEAR GOD."

SUE THOMAS - person whom the T.V. show "Sue Thomas FBEye" is based upon. Click here to read her story.

14 comments:

Katrina said...

Great post, Susanne. I've been thinking about this a lot lately - how easy and tempting it is to fill my life with noise and the fact that we all need to have regular times of silence - and not just when we're sleeping! Thanks for sharing this.

Melanie said...

Thank you! Thank you! "Be still and know that I am God." is one of my favorite verses. I have a lot to get accomplished today and I needed that encouragement. I love the reminder that God is not in the earthquake.

Heather Smith said...

Psalm 46:10 is my life verse. Why? Well because God has to slap me upside the head so often with it so that I'll stop and listen to him!
Thanks for the welcome back!!

momrn2 said...

Wonderful! Great reminder!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

What a great reminder - I literally have a list of 32 things to do while husband is out of town; it was great motivation to do them in silence, and instead do the things you mentioned. Great, great!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Every time I see a comment from you I go to your website, see the things we have in common. And think youre in my bloglines. Today I realized youre not. Now you are. Cant wait to do some catch-up reading on your site. xoxox

Beck said...

Great post, with lots to think about. It's hard for me to silence all of the distractions and really be alone, but I'm beginning to get the hint that it might be an important thing.
As for washing walls - bah! I do like scrubbing little smudges off with the Magic Sponge, though!

Susanne said...

katrina: I seem to have noise almost unconciously and it's so refreshing just to have to silence to listen to what God might be saying to my heart.

melanie: I like that scripture portion in I Kings 19 where God revealed himself not in that big stuff.

heather: you're too funny!

bev: it's nice to have you around. I do enjoy your site

beck: it's hard with little ones isn't it? God will reward your efforts though even if it's only a few minutes here or there thru your very busy mommy days. He knows you're a mom of little kids.

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

You are so very right. Silence is precious. One of my favorite times is the quiet time I spend as my daughter is falling asleep and I watch her and pray.

Thanks for the reminder!
Susan

Shalee said...

Excellent thought, Susanne. "Be still and know that I am God." It's that be still part I have to work on...

Thank you for the gentle reminder to make it a priority to listen for the voice of God.

Susanne said...

Susan: Nice to have you filling in for Janice! Hi!

Shalee: That is hard for me too, but I think it's stilling our hearts and minds the most. I was washing walls and cutting in paint and I feel like I definitely was allowing the Lord to speak to my heart.

Islandsparrow said...

I needed this lovely reminder too - thank you Suzanne...

sarah said...

Susanne, this is a great exhortation. I, too have to make the conscious decision to turn off the noise sometimes. It is amazing how easy it is to not even notice that we are being innundated with sound all the time. As Moms, I think it is vital for our spiritual life that we learn to cultivate a life of prayer in the midst of our daily tasks. I suppose that is essential for anyone, but with so little "down-time" for moms, I think it's just not realistic to wait that perfect, quiet moment before we commune with God.

Susanne said...

islandsparrow: I need this reminder contstantly!

sarah: welcome! When you're a mom I don't think there is a perfect time. We need to take them as we can. And you know God meets us where we're at. He knows we're moms and He knows the needs of children. He created them, right?