In my experience silence is something that can be, certainly at first, very uncomfortable.
Thoughts rush through our mind, things from within. You suddenly remember things you had to do, errands you had to run, things you need to buy, places you need to be.
As silence wraps its cloak around you, your mind begins to churn out things just to fill the gaps.
Because silence exposes us.
It strips us bare.
It makes us naked.
Eventually, if we stick it out, we have no choice but to face up to ourselves. The bare truth.
The things we hide.
The fears and insecurities.
The doubts, the questions, the uncertainties.
Without being able to speak, they have no noise to hind behind. Nothing to prevent them from coming out.
Silence brings us face to face with our truest self…
..and eventually, when the noise filters from our mind there is…
It’s in this space that we not only encounter the truth of ourselves, but of the divine.
It is into space, nothingness that God spoke creation into being
and it is into the space we allow God into that He can speak truth into our lives.
I often deliberately avoid silence, even though I know I shouldn’t. The amount of excuses I have made for not spending silence with God, and allowing Him in range from the ‘sounding intelligent and reasonable’ variety, to simple lame excuses.
But one night I simply decided I was going to do it. I didn’t plan ahead (so didn’t have time to make an excuse).
I turned everything off, sat on the floor, and opened my eyes to God.
I allowed myself to become aware of the spirit of God who was already there, already at work.
It was tough. After a few minutes, as the voices began, I began to think of looking at my watch.
But the longer I spent in silence and the deeper I went into the spirit…
…suddenly, supernaturally, I began to sense God speaking.
Words of truth, words of encouragement, words of power. I began to feel – as I often do when I’m in the spirit – a warmth in my heart, which although it felt physical, was much more than that. It was a deep, supernatural, peace.
The shalom of God.
Somehow though, although this time exposed again the deep insecurities I had, the questions I wanted answered, I discovered something else too.
It wasn’t all the answers.
It wasn’t suddenly everything being okay.
But it was a peace, a shalom – within my circumstances. A peace which acknowledged and embraced my insecurities, questions and doubts.
For some unknown, unexplainable, supernatural reason, I had a sense that even with my mess, that it was going to be okay. That although I had no idea how or when this would transpire
that God had it all in hand.
I didn’t stop having these insecurities and doubts. The questions weren’t all answered.
But I did have the peace of God. That somehow it would be okay.
That He would deal with these things somehow, in some way. That I wasn’t alone. That I could trust Him with my truest and most raw parts. That even my darkness was somehow light.
In all truth, words don’t do this justice.
Which makes perfect sense, as it was the shalom and peace of God, which as scripture says, passes all understanding.
So let us not be afraid of the silence.
Instead, let us trust God to lead us through the silence, to join us in the silence. The deepest, most raw and honest parts of us are already like light to Him. Even the ones we still fail to see, He is at work on.
Let us embrace the silence and find the shalom of God in our hearts, even despite ourselves. Not that it will make everything okay.
But it will ask us to trust that it will – and maybe, give us a peace beyond understanding.
How much time do you spend in silence?
Are you afraid of silence? Why?
How can we become more comfortable with silence & learn to listen to God better?
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