We’ve been talking about sitting in the silence in our Sunday School class as one of the practices that helps us move toward a more balanced life, and I’ve been trying to it most of my days. This is what it looked like one day recently. (Journal excerpt, edited.)
I slept a bit longer than I had intended, and the morning start was hectic. We had a few extra chores and the usual routine was upended, so I drove Youngest to school and it was not a problem. It was just a lot of fast, too soon.
So, now my mind is racing, flitting from thought to thought, like those useless sparrows trapped in the chicken house, flapping futilely at first one window, then another.
My back hurts, and I realize my shoulder blades are pulling together, tight, then tighter. I need to hit “pause” and find a way to sit in the silence of this messy morning.
I remember the Scripture scrawled across the white board this past Sunday:
Breathe out: waits for You, O God.
So I pause.
I open the window an inch or two.
I listen to what I hear “out there” and “in here.”
The chill breeze wafts in dove murmur and redwing warble and sparrow trill…and a lot of silence.
Even the ever-yapping dog in the neighborhood is momentarily quiet, and from the chicken coop I hear…nothing. It’s really quiet out there…
But in here, in my head, in my heart, so many thoughts and doubts and concerns.
I take time to list them all, one after the other, line flowing into line, and before I know it I’ve scribbled eight lines of tight little writing, put it all out there in front of God and everyone...No, just God...I can’t write my worry thoughts here. Some of them are self-incriminating, and others…what’s the journalistic equivalent of “HIPAA?” So, just God, and somehow today that’s enough.
I get to the bottom of my untidy, ugly little collection and realize I’m in fairly deep, and it’s dark down here in this hole. And I am waiting in this mess, in this silence, for God to show up… and I hear the words of an Andrew Peterson song,”The Last Frontier” whispering truth in my ear…
I have fallen past the last frontier
But at the bottom of this well I hear you breathing
At the bottom of this well, I hear You breathing,
Love below me,
Love around me,
Love above me-
Love has found me,
Love has found me here.
I pull out my devotional book (Jesus Always by Sarah Young) and read these words: "Seek My face with a smile in your heart knowing that I take delight in you. Remember that I am your resting place." Yes, that's what it says, for this exact date. And the scripture?
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for
my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and
I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and
my mighty rock,
my refuge is God.
O Jacob (O Brenda!!)-
trust in Him at all times;
pour out your heart before Him.
God is a refuge for us. (for me!!)
"For God alone…" that’s how this gift of a chapter begins- and I find “for God alone” twice and “He only” twice followed by a list of exactly who/what He is-
My hope, my rock (twice), my salvation (twice) my fortress, my glory, my refuge (twice).
So with David I want to say, come what may, "I will not be shaken for You are a refuge for me."
I am learning I can trust You at all times, and You are a safe place where I can pour out my heart.
And here You are.