Hello Friday. It’s that day again that I come to a coffee shop to rest and receive from the Lord. Sometimes I feel like I do the most talking, but I’m learning to sit and listen to Him. Even if He doesn’t say anything. Because sometimes He doesn’t, and I’m reminded of times in life when He has been silent and I crave to hear His voice again.
How sweet the sound of His voice is after silence.
I remember teaching my piano students years ago what a rest in music was. Some of them wanted to rush the musical rest because it felt weird to be at a piano bench for even a couple of seconds when you weren’t actually doing or hearing anything. But over and over I told them the same thing: “Music is always sweeter after a rest.” I don’t know where I heard it, but I knew it was true. A rest makes the listeners lean in with anticipation to the music coming.
Music is sweeter after a rest.
I’ve come to learn (painfully and slowly) that God’s voice is much the same. His voice is sweeter to us after a time of silence. Not because He changes, but because our posture towards Him changes. We lean in towards Him more. We sit on the edge of our seats in anticipation. We beg for Him to speak and crave connection with His voice. We can suddenly identify with King David when he wrote:
“Answer me, Lord, for Your faithful love is good; in keeping with Your great compassion, turn to me. Don’t hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress. Answer me quickly!” Psalm 69:16-17 HCSB
I’m in a season of edge-of-the-seat silence. I can see His smile gracing me often. There are moments almost every day that I see His hand orchestrating the moments and answering my prayers. I know He is present and near…but I can’t hear His voice.
It’s hard to be still in the silence. Even when you’ve walked the wilderness before, it still doesn’t feel natural or right or comfortable. Anyway you cut it, the wilderness seasons feel dry. Dusty. Quiet. Silence isn’t comfortable.
I’m one of those people who is a chronic silence-filler. More than once I’ve felt nervous with silence and therefore felt the need to fill it in with WORDS. Sometimes the words are practically meaningless, which makes matters worse. It’s been a process of growing to understand and learning to live out the truth that sometimes being silent is okay. In fact, being still is a sign of maturity and security.
Have you ever been riding in a car with someone you don’t know very well and an awkward silence descends on the vehicle? In those situations, I tend to go inward freak-out mode and start filling the space with unnecessary conversation. The truth is, the better you know the other person in the silent vehicle, the more at rest you can be in the quiet. You have nothing to prove. Nothing to say that’s earth shattering. Just sitting there doesn’t bother you because you are secure in your own skin and at rest with this other person.
Today is one of those days when I am hypothetically in an enclosed area with a quiet Friend. I know He is fully aware of ALL my flaws and loves me anyway. He knows me better than anyone in the world and somehow I feel the need to fill the silence with pointless words. I can see His Fatherly smile upon me as I chatter away nervously. His face says it all. To just be at rest in His Presence. To just sit and soak in all the things He has told me over and over. Even when He doesn’t speak them right now, I know they are true. His promises never change because HE never changes.
Today in my favorite coffee shop I am reminded that His voice is sweeter after the silence. Until then, I will lean in with anticipation and rest in His Presence. Content to ride along with Him in the quietness. One day soon, His voice will split the silence and the sound will make my heart sing.
The wilderness experiences of life create a special hunger in my soul for Jesus. What about you?