Is your soul hiding?
This weekend I was challenged with the thought: "In silence, our soul can come out of hiding."
Silence, Pastor Denny went on to say, creates a safe space for our soul to come out, for God to speak directly to the soul He created.
I talk and write quite a bit about being quiet, about the value of silence. These past few months I have practiced silence more than usual. A difficult situation arose that offered me two diverging paths: one, speak up and defend myself; or two, be silent and allow God to work.
And He did. He worked. He worked on ME.
As I continued my silence, deep maturing truths rose to the surface of my heart. I realized the truth that God has plans for some people that do not include me - and I must release them to follow their path. I lived the truth that all who follow Jesus to the deep, deep places of faith will at some point be stripped of all friends but for God Himself. I believed, for the first time, that God Himself is enough. Forgiveness, I learned first-hand, is not for someone else, but for me -- healing in my heart as I release the hurt and anger.
God used a difficult, heart-breaking situation to change not the other person, but me. He changed my perspective. He brought me to a place of realization - that even if I am truly alone in this world, Jesus is there and He knows what it feels like. That 'in quietness and confidence is your strength.' (Isaiah 30:15 NLT) -- He will give me strength and courage to continue on.
His promise is that 'joy comes in the morning' (Psalm 30:5). As I have waded through the terrifying reality of being alone, each millisecond seemed like years. But at the end of each moment, joy waited for me on the other side. True friendships shone so brightly I was literally speechless in gratitude. God restored the health of the ones I depend on the most - filling my basket again with loyal supporters. True forgiveness forged bonds stronger than I've ever experienced.
All brought about by the choice of silence.
Pastor Denny said it perfectly: The word absurd has its roots in the word 'deafness'. In actively practicing quietness, we hear the still, small voice of God - the sound of sheer silence. When we fill our lives with noise, we run the risk of living an absurd life, deaf to the sound of God's voice.
Better is a life of quietness, of peace in my heart, living with less; than a life full of wealth and 'success' accompanied by the soul-noise of anxiety and worry. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:6 (my revision)
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)