Being okay with silence
I've been thinking a lot about being okay with silence.
Silence from people.
Silence from God.
Silence in the space you're in.
Some can peacefully meditate in silence, some try to fill it up with noise, some feel awful about it, and some may not even notice it at all. Which one are you?
For me, I would want to know why there is silence. What's the cause? Was it something I did or said? Did I miss an important date? Did I forget to acknowledge something? Did I forget to do something? But I've learned to trust it. Trust that silence doesn't mean emptiness. Silence doesn't always mean something is wrong.
There are seasons in life where we yearn for silence. We need the quiet to gather our thoughts, to start something new, to put a child to sleep, or to rest our heads. Silence, complete silence, is a cherished rarity in life. Jesus sought silence.
"Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone." Matthew 14:22-23
"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed." Mark 1:35
God can speak in silence (read 1 Kings 19).
Then there's the awful kind of silence, the hurtful kind. The silent treatments. The ghosting. We may not always understand why this happens, or get the closure that we yearn, but accepting it and moving forward will end that silence for us. That quiet, the hurtful kind, won't last forever in the way you think. You begin to find a new noise or you forget it's there; the silence as only the beginning, but in its ending can turn into something vibrant.
The silence I have learned to invite and rest in is a blessing. Author Sarah Clarkson shares her insight on quiet as: "Being rooted in quiet, and the quietness where we can hear God's voice and be aware of the world. Where wonder is possible, where imagination grows, where there's depth of thought, where we can actually go deeply in ourselves and encounter Holy Spirit as He speaks in our hearts."
In quiet: "wonder is possible, imagination grows, there's depth of thought." Don't you just want to explore this?
In quiet: "where we can actually go deeply in ourselves and encounter Holy Spirit as He speaks in our hearts." Holy Spirit can speak in silence, He knows the rhythm of it.
We may also just experience silence from God and not understand it. Like David: "O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trust, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame." Psalm 22:2-5
You may be experiencing His silence right now, but you can still trust Him. He hears you, He will rescue you; God will not reject a broken and repentant heart (Psalm 51:17).
"For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him." Psalm 62:1, 5.
As you wait in silence, as you meditate in quiet, let it be pleasing to God (Psalm 19:14).