No, I don’t really know what silence is, but I hear it is nice.

Ah...Silence

Silence is not golden in my mind, silence is scary.  The main reason for that is silence is so unusual for me.  I understand what it is to have silence and I am certain I have experienced it before, but it has been a while.    In my house there are three boys, age 7, 4 and 2 and a 3 month old girl.  For me, normal life involves a lot of noise.   This time of year is especially obnoxious because all the windows are closed and the noise has no place to go but off the walls and into my head.  It is not unusual for my wife and I to be sitting at the table talking while the boys roll their cars down the hallway, ramming them into the door at the end.  Somehow we are able to communicate with that.  I think it is a skill that I am certain many people really are jealous of.   To help with the noise, we sometimes turn the radio on, which only makes them speak louder.  Now, I am not complaining, but just want to show you where I am coming from on this. In my world, if it is quiet, something is terribly wrong.  As a parent, if the kids are in the other room and I don’t hear anything I immediately go in there to see what is going on.

Noise is something that you just get used to having to deal with.  This works out alright because there is very little quiet anywhere in the world.   I have been thinking a lot about silence recently in light of the Christmas song ‘Silent Night.’  In fact, this concept has really been bouncing around in my head, along with the noise, as I try to really get a picture for what the original ‘silent night’ must have been like.

The night Jesus was born must have been somewhat normal for most people in Bethlehem.  I mean, sure the town was alive with activity because of the census, but otherwise it would be just another night.  And yet, away from the buzz of people, in the stillness of night, God left His throne and took on flesh.  As people went about their daily life and busyness, the Savior was born right there.  Can you imagine?

We know God did not keep this quiet for long.  He sends a chorus of angels to shepherds out tending their sheep and the stillness of the night was interrupted by a heavenly chorus. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:14  The message was received and they went to see what has happened and returned glorifying and praising God.  Then of course there were the Magi who saw the star and came to worship this newborn “King of the Jews.” – Matthew 2:1  God got their attention and they are forever part of the story as a result.

Silence might be scary, but even more scary is the notion of God speaking and us not hearing it.  If we get too focused on our own little world, we just might miss what God is doing right in front of us.  What if the shepherds ignored the angels, or just weren’t willing to be bothered with it?  What if the Magi ignored the star and didn’t come to worship Jesus.  What if any of us, in the busyness of this Christmas season, miss out on the real gift of Jesus Christ because there is just too much noise?  What if God wants to get your attention and use you for some purpose in His story, but your head is full of too much chaos to hear it?  The only remedy is to take time to be still before God.  I know that goes against everything within us and makes some people literally shake uncontrollably.  I know there are long lists of things to do, but consider what scripture says.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

Noise will not go away, but we can find some quiet in it.  Take time to turn off the noise and be still.  Be still and rest knowing that He is still God in your life and loves you.  No matter what has happened to you or where you are, be still and know He is God.  Listen for the voice of the One who gave up His throne to die for our sins!  I know it is hard to do but the silence will only prove to enhance our celebration of Jesus Christ as we spend time with Him.

Silent Night! Holy Night! All is calm, all is bright, Round yon virgin mother and Child.  Holy Infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.

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14 comments

  1. Amen Derek! And His is a wonderful birthday fora time too short on earth! I am trying to explain the Christmas story to my oldest but she can’t get past the sheep and the donkey in the stable. Maybe next year!

  2. Great post and Merry Christmas to you and yours and as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior…many people have a Hard time with Christmas and the reason I believe that they do is because they see Christmas as being any other day . But when you think about the Hope of the World who loves us so much you have to know that their is a much higher being. AMEN

  3. There was a strong anointing on this and I felt it fall as I read … it is a great post … thank you!

    That scripture is a life scripture and at times there is a struggle to enter His rest but it is so worth it! I think the enemies greatest weapon is “busyness”.

    I definitely missed His voice last week, and I may blog about it. I felt He wanted me to do something and I used reason instead of obedience and so a beautiful family in Christ did not receive what He wanted for them … it resolved well in that I was able to arrange what He wanted last minute, but probably not to the lavishness that He had planned at first … we learn from our “hits” and from our “misses”because God is Good! Blessings!

    1. It is a real challenge to just be quiet. With 4 kids in the house it takes some creativity to be there. Also, the sovereignty of God will cover up our mistakes and ‘misses.’ That is good because there are more misses than I would care to admit.

      1. But our “misses” become “hits” as we move on and learn … also, just a thought … I figure it is pretty roudy in Heaven too … all that praise and worship … with elders throwing themselves down crying Holy Holy … etc singing, and dancing, and instruments … joy and fun … I figure it is really noisy there too 🙂 … perhaps your household is more Heavenly than you realise …

  4. I personally NEED silence every now and again. When I don’t get it, I will find a quiet place to get it, even if it’s just time to breathe a prayer 🙂 I love “Be still and know…” A few months ago, I read that in another translation that said “Cease striving.” That hit me right between the eyes and gave me a whole new understanding of what He meant when He said ‘Be still.’ Now I have it on my prayer wall where I will see it every day. It says:

    Be still, cease striving, quit trying to fix it, (and a few more ways of saying it), and let me show you what I can do…. Life changing as I seek that little moment of silence to cease striving and turn it over the the One who loves me more than anyone, created me, and knows my life from conception to last breath before it was even begun. Thank you for your post 🙂

    1. Cease striving is a really great way to put that. What really strikes me here is not even just being still, but knowing He is God. Have you ever felt like things were a bit out of control? I know I have. But, to just stop and realize He is God. Well, that often brings things back to a manageable level for me. Thank you for your input here.

  5. Silence is nap time! Even mommy takes a nap at the same time on our weekends. Do you think I am going to waste that precious silence by working out in the yard then? No way!

    I hope you get some Peace this weekend with your family Derek. I imagine you will be quite busy this weekend! Its a wonderful time!

  6. Great one Derek. I have learned that “Peace and Quiet” are rare commodities in today’s society. Just when I thought we were fixing to find it, God felt obliged to send us 4 more. Oh the wonder of children. Keep up the good work. God Bless You, Grant

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