Enjoying The Quiet With God
Whilst on holiday with family, I am enjoying a day of peace and quiet on my own. As I sit in the stillness I can hear the breeze blowing through the leaves of the trees. Various birds in song and the occasional hum from a bee. Sometimes we are so busy and there is so much noise going on around us that we miss the beauty there is in the quiet. The beauty in God's creation. We miss the sense of peace and tranquillity given by our God who loves to give us good gifts.
At home I don't seem to have much time for stillness and quiet. My phone rings and interrupts me at the most awkward times. The washing machine or dishwasher whirl noisily. Emails shout for my attention. Housework begs to be done. Music is playing. The television is on in the background.
Despite being busy and often having people demanding his attention, Jesus often withdrew from them so that he could have time alone with God, to pray and converse with God. For example we read in Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. (NLT) He needed the quietness just as much as we do today.
It's in the peace, stillness and quiet that I have more room and opportunity to hear God speak to me. I look forward to my daily 'Quiet Time' with God where there is space for him to speak. I sit quietly with the Bible open before me, anticipating that he will speak just what I need to hear.
And yet, when it comes to praying within this quiet time, how often am I truly quiet before him? I confess I tend to come with my own agenda, my requests, my plans for the day. I rush through all that I want to say and forget that there may be more God wants to say to me. I wonder how much I miss out on hearing him because I'm not taking the time to listen?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (NLT)
Another translation puts it this way: Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. (MSG)
I like how the Message paraphrases Matthew 6:6. When we come before God we don't need to pretend to be something we're not. There's no need for clever words. No particular formula is needed. We don't need to pray in the same way as somebody else. What we do need is to "Just be there" and focus on God. Then, when we do this, we will sense and experience his grace.
Recently, I've been encouraged to spend a few minutes in quiet before God, being completely still, waiting for him to speak and direct my thoughts and my words. In my heart, it's what I desire, yet how hard it seems in practice. It's not easy to have an inner quietness when my mind is occupied with other things. I set these things aside, only to take them up again in the next moment. Yet, I do believe it is possible to be quiet and still before God. It is possible with training and discipline. It will take effort, but it will be worth it, of this I'm sure. And so I persevere. I know I will get there.
Enjoying the moments of quiet on holiday has also given me the desire to grab moments of quiet during my everyday life. It won't be as easy at home, but I believe it can be done if I want it enough. It's about creating space for God to speak, not just in my morning quiet time with him, but at any time and for me to stop, pause and listen,
As to how I do this, I'm not quite sure yet. It will require trying things out and seeing what works best for me. It may be taking a moment over my morning coffee or afternoon tea to be quiet before him. Or five minutes at the beginning of lunch. Or as I take the dog for a walk. Or soak in the bath.
Something within me is telling me that this will be good for me. That it would be good for each one of us. That it will prove to be a blessing to me in all kinds of ways - spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 62:5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. (NLT)
To Think About:
If you have a regular 'Quiet Time' with God will you include some time of being still and quiet before God just waiting on him (if you don't already do so)?
How could you include moments of quiet with God during the day? (If you have any suggestions, please leave your comments for others to read.)
What hinders you from having quiet moments?
If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon. (It's content is material adapted from previous blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below: