“Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again..”
No, not THAT sound of silence, although I absolutely love that song by Simon and Garfunkel. A thought came to me over the weekend that I want to talk about for a few minutes this morning. We fear silence.
In our worship services, sometimes when silence is called for, to reverence the presence of God and allow Him space, we fill it with words or music. Even the sermon. WE are so quick to shout of yell, that sometimes when that moment of silence is called for, to process what is happening in our midsts, we don’t know what to do. We freeze and thus don’t give God the chance that He wants. Sometimes.
When we pray, we rarely pause our words and give into the silence. If prayer is a conversation, 90% of Christians are conversation hogs. It’s like the old song used to say
“I say you talk too much. Oh boy, you never shut up..”
I wonder how often God is thinking this with a big grin on his face.
Or how about when we are just alone with our thoughts? Very rarely do I have a silent mind. I’m either pondering something, or worried about something. I’m facing my fears or being accused by my past. Either my sins are assaulting me, or I’m condemned by the weight of my imperfections. Silence can be so loud. It’s a truly harrowing prospect to be alone in the silence. Which is why we turn on the radio, or the television to fill the space. I think we are afraid of what can happen in silence. So we fill the void with what we think we need in order to not take the risk that something good might actually come from it.
Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God.”
The Message translation says it like this, “Step out of traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
Whoa. I’ve always read this verse and thought of the blessedness of silence, but reading the Message version really drives it home for me that God desires us to not fear silence, but to recognize that it is in the silence where He can really commune with us. It is in the silence where we can truly hear His voice. It is in the silence that He can perform heart transplants, giving us hearts of clay in exchange for our stony hearts.
He won’t force us to, though. If we choose to not embrace the silence, nothing in our lives will change. I believe that silence during worship can be just as impactful and life-changing as the most eloquently delivered sermon, or the most powerful worship song. I believe that silence in prayer can result in breakthroughs that we have not experience till now.
Because the sound of silence is the sound of deliverance. It is the sound of God’s Holiness. It is the sound of healing. It is the sound of redemption. It is the sound of God being God in the face of whatever odds and obstacles life wants to throw in our lives.
There is safety in silence with God. There is provision in the silence with God. There are unlocked gifts in silence with God. It is in the silence that we hear God telling us that he has not condemned us, but rather we are forgiven and redeemed. Loved. Called. Anointed. Promised to Him. Blessed with every blessing possible through Christ. Silence changes us. Creativity is born out of silence.
We have nothing to fear in the silence.
So today, step out of the traffic lanes of life for a few moments. Take a deep breath and push every thought and worry aside. I am assured that when we purposefully make room for God in the silent space, he will give us a strength to live our life out loud in a way that glorifies Him and further establishes His Kingdom upon the earth.
This is the sound of silence.
Be blessed today!