Be still, and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10
We live in a world filled with noise, don’t we? It seems like everywhere we turn, it is increasingly more difficult to find places of silence and solitude in our lives. Television. Smartphones. Laptops. Tablets. Alexa. It is almost as if we are addicted to noise… and afraid of the silence.
I’ve started to do some thinking about this lately. Why is it that we fill our lives with noise? Why is it that we are afraid of silence? And more importantly, is there a connection between a lack of hearing God’s voice and the lack of silence in our lives?
Often, noise is our drug of choice. We self-medicate ourselves with noise because we are afraid of silence. Silence has a way of stripping us bare of all pretenses, forcing us to take a good long look in the mirror of our soul. For some of us, this is just too painful, just too raw for us to face. So we surround ourselves with noise, thinking that the longer we can drown out the voices, perhaps they might go away. But they rarely do!
I’m fascinated that the Scriptures are filled with people who heard from God. They connected with God in ways that were life changing and pretty much every one of those was in a moment of silence or solitude. God rarely speaks in the storm, one passage says — He is in the gentle whisper.
Silence. Solitude. These were regular rhythms Jesus had as a part of His life. They were not merely luxuries Jesus enjoyed; they were central rhythms of His life. In times of sorrow, in times of busyness, in times of stress, in times of reflection — Jesus often found the time to get alone, seeking out places of silence and solitude. This was not merely Jesus’ way of getting a break; He was demonstrating something far deeper. He was modeling the reality that at our very core, you and I were created with a hunger for silence and solitude.
Jesus knows this. This is why I believe He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” –Matthew 11:28. He is inviting us to embrace His rhythm — and in this rhythm, to find rest for our weary souls. The question is this: can I truly find this kind of rest if I do not find places of silence and solitude?
Maybe, for most of us involved in the noisy day-to-day business of life, it’s time to stop… and listen.
1. Are you trying to hide something through the noise you allow in your life?
2. What are some things in our lives that we could do to begin to eliminate the noise and start introducing silence and solitude as a rhythm?
Matthew 14:12-13; Mark 1:32-35; 6:30-31; Luke 5:15-16