There's something about being all alone in a silence -- it strips you of anything you might try to hide behind. Many of us fill silences with conversation, TV noise or music.
Silence makes them many of us uncomfortable.
My youngest child is like this. She talks just to fill the emptiness. I've told her that it's okay when no one is talking, that quiet can be good.
It's in the silence we'll hear Him.
"a sound of a gentle blowing" (1 Kings 19:12c)
If we want to hear from God we gotta give Him time to get through to us.
We need to give Him opportunity to speak.
Most definitely, He will.
Do you want to hear what He has to say though?
I heard a great true-life story this month about a missionary who lives and ministers in South Africa. He and his wife were ready to go to Africa when he was diagnosed with cancer. For the next two years he went through treatments. Sometime in there he asked God if they were still supposed to go to Africa. God told him, "When I change my mind I'll let you know."
I probably got that wrong, but the gist of the story was that God's call was still there even though "common sense" told the missionary couple they should not go due to health reasons.
We can get caught up in stuff around us: media's talking heads; the opinions of friends and family; the numbers in our bank accounts; our own skewed perspectives. If something or someone doesn't agree with God and His Word, it is not our friend and it (or he or she) won't give us good advice.
Why do you do what you do?
Illustrator David Catrow says such a profound statement on a video that was made of him illustrating in front of a bunch of kids at a public library. I'll link the video here if you want to hear him say it firsthand. But it was something like he feels if everyone did what they loved to do this would be a much better world.
What has this to do with hearing God in the quiet?
Well, here it is: God created each of us. He knows what makes our hearts beat faster. He knows what delights us. And He also knows if we operating in our gifts and in things that delight us, we are becoming what we were created to be.
Have you ever felt that?
I know you have. I know there has to be a moment somewhere in your life when you were in that God zone -- the place where you were content and happy and productive and loving what you were doing.
It might not be practical. It might not be glamorous. It might not make you lots of money. It might not make sense to others.
But it is where you need to be.
God wants to take you there. He wants to use you there. When you're there you shine for Him -- man, you shine. And when you're there you aren't going to care about things that don't matter (well, you might a little but you can let them go quite easily).
Catrow's illustration is entitled "Balancing Act" and what I'm talking about is a balancing act -- especially if you have a family and responsibilities to others.
Don't worry -- all of that is in God's plan too. He doesn't want you to neglect others --just put Him first. There, you will find Him and you will find yourself.
"seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33